VP Alupo commends EU for supporting Uganda’s social economic transformation agenda

EU Ambassador to Uganda Jan Sadek and Vice President Jessica Alupo (PHOTO/Courtesy).

KAMPALA, UGANDA – Vice President Jessica Alupo has commended the European Union Delegation in Uganda for extending their cooperation in areas that are crucial for the development of Uganda including infrastructure, energy, and agriculture among others.

“We appreciate the important contribution and support that the EU has continued to extend in our social economic development and transformation agenda,” said VP Alupo.

The Vice President made the remarks on Tuesday evening while speaking as chief guest during the Europe Day held to honour Mr. Robert Schuman, the then-French Foreign Minister, who proclaimed the historic Schuman declaration, that would mark the beginning of the long path towards European Unification in 1950.

The function took place at the residence of the Ambassador of the European Union to Uganda, Mr. Jan Sadek.

“Our collaboration and partnership has been vibrant and strong since the mid-1970s, reinforced by the EU – Africa- Caribbean Pacific Partnerships (ACP). We believe that the new ‘Post-Cotonou’ Partnership Agreement in its architecture and the strategic priority areas, will continue to support Uganda not only on Human rights, democracy, and governance but on many other aspects of peace and security as well as inclusive sustainable economic growth, trade and development,” she said.

At the International level, Alupo said Uganda values the system of multilateralism that has emerged as the guarantor of International peace and security since the Second World War.

She voiced her concerns over the ongoing conflict in Europe with strong calls to the warring parties to explore the possibilities of peace.

“We call on all the parties to refrain from the escalation of warfare, cease hostilities, de-escalate the conflict by diplomatic means, and pursue mechanisms for dialogue and peaceful resolution”.

“It is our concern that as we celebrate this year’s Europe Day, there is another war in Europe. War and conflict anywhere around the World are of serious concern to Uganda as it leads to the political, social, economic and humanitarian challenges”.

Alupo reiterated Uganda’s commitment to excellent cooperation in various fields for ‘our mutual benefit’.

The European Union Ambassador to Uganda, H.E Jan Sadek, who hosted the event, said Europe Day is not just a day to celebrate the birth of the European Union, but also a day to reflect on values such as peace, democracy, and the rule of law.

In his official speech, Ambassador Sadek, among other things, recalled the symbolism of May 9 for the EU, condemned Russia’s “illegal and brutal” invasion of Ukraine, and discussed the current state of relations with Uganda.

“This is a threat not only to Ukrainian sovereignty and European stability but also to global peace and security”, Ambassador Sadek remarked, with the Ukrainian flag flying alongside the EU one.

“Ukraine has our support and the response from the European Union and its Member States has been swift, united, and strong, countering the imperialism and colonialism on the Russian side”, he remarked.

Uganda has maintained a neutral stand ever since the war broke out, with President Museveni previously declaring soft engagement with both parties to end the war. Uganda is also a member of the Non-Aligned Movement which maintains neutrality and is set to host the conference where Uganda will assume chairmanship of the movement.

Sadek said the EU solidarity has been extended to other global partners – “promoting peace, prosperity, and sustainability. This includes the African continent, and it includes Uganda”.

He pledged the Union’s intentions for stronger partnerships, highlighting cooperation on trade and investment, working with all segments of Ugandan society.

“We have a continuous and broad-based dialogue with the Government, and we share the same views in many areas. We commend Uganda’s positive role in the region, we celebrate its developmental gains, its progressive refugee policy, and its ambitions on renewable energy – where 90 percent of the country’s electricity comes from renewable sources”, Sadek emphasised.

The EU ambassador said Ugandan Coffee as a bridge that links Kampala and the EU!

Out of the Ugandan coffee exports, around 60 percent go to Europe, with a value of more than 800 million euros per year.

The sector employs over 3.5 million families. “We believe there is potential to grow this further.”

“At the EU, we are working hard to promote private sector development in general, through the platform Sustainable Business for Uganda – SB4U. Many of you will remember the annual Business Forum that we have hosted here in Kampala – that is also part of SB4U”.

Ambassador Sadek, expressed their readiness to continue supporting development programmes in Uganda.

The ambassador commended Uganda’s open-door policy.

Uganda is the largest refugee-hosting country in Africa with more than 1.45 million refugees and asylum-seekers, including 83 percent of women and children. Majority of the refugees and asylum seekers in Uganda originate from South Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Burundi. Uganda’s refugee laws and policies are among the most progressive in the world. Refugees and asylum seekers are entitled to work, have freedom of movement, and can access social services.

He said the EU is committed to supporting security restoration efforts in the great lakes region including sharing “our unique experience and to address the root causes of the conflicts in the area, as well as to unleash the full potential of trade and cooperation and the sustainable use of the natural resources in the region.”

Relations between the European Union and Uganda are mainly based on aid to development and trade. The political dialogue with the Government of Uganda remains key to fostering sustainable growth.

The EU cooperation with Uganda aims to respond to the country’s most pressing needs which include:

  • Fostering sustainable development through sound economic policies and good governance.
  • Improving national and regional transport connections.
  • Strengthening the agricultural sector and its potential and improving people’s livelihoods.

About Europe Day:

Europe Day is marked around the world each year on 9 May, to commemorate the 1950 Declaration of Robert Schuman, the French foreign minister in place at that time. Schuman set out his idea for a new form of political cooperation in Europe, which would make war between Europe’s nations unthinkable, by asking them to share their coal and steel reserves.

This concept was the beginning of what is today known as the European Union. Since then, and for the past 73 years, the EU has been developing, working, uniting, and ensuring peace and prosperity for up to 447 million people across 27 countries of the world.

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