Uganda is a landlocked country that has recently achieved considerable progress towards reducing the share of the population living in poverty. Nevertheless, it is still among the world’s group of Least Developed Countries. Through its development cooperation, the EU stands by Uganda to help address its key challenges, such as: consolidating democracy; removing gender, regional and other inequalities; extending the protection of basic human, social and economic rights to all Ugandans; and removing barriers to sustainable economic growth.
Uganda has achieved several important milestones in terms of socio-economic development, however, the country continues to face a number of risks and challenges.
Despite one of the highest population growths in the world, investments in social sectors are insufficient and inequalities keep rising. Other challenges posed by the country’s population growth - and to a lesser extent by the continued influx of refugees - involve the increased pressure on natural resources such as forests, land and water, and high unemployment rates, mainly among the young population.
In this context, a closer and more strategic cooperation between Government and long-standing partners such as the European Union is crucial.
Priority areas of the EU's cooperation with Uganda will aim at maximizing the impact, sustainability and cost-efficiency of the EU’s engagement through strategic dialoguewhich covers the following three key socio-political and development areas:
Green and Climate transition
We support sustainable management of natural resources that allows working on the protection of the environment and wildlife, the development of protected areas, ecotourism, green value chains, land rights, climate change, Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR), forestry, energy efficiency and green cities. This can assist in more effective governance, domestic resource mobilisation, planning, and infrastructure at the local level – including refugee community agglomerations.
Promoting sustainable and inclusive growth and jobs
Our goal is to promote sustainable investments that benefit industrialisation, add worth to specific value chains, improve public-private partnerships, trade, agri-business, access to finance and the overall business environment. The investments also focus on enabling much needed working opportunities in employment governance, skilling, youth, and the informal sector, including economic opportunities for refugees.
Promoting Democratic Governance and Social inclusion
We strive toto strengthen democratic participation, human rights, accountability and public finance management (PFM) while addressing the social inclusion problem and help promote education for girls, social protection, social services, sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR), and refugee response.
The Multiannual Indicative Programme (MIP) for Uganda for 2021-2024 amounts to €375 million.
Priority area 1: ‘Green and climate Transition’ contributes to better conservation, restoration and protection of Uganda’s natural resources and biodiversity. Furthermore, it promotes sustainable development of the forestry sector, supports Uganda in improving its disaster risk management approach, develops financing for climate action and effectively contributes to streamlining the European Green Deal in sustainable urban and peri-urban development for Uganda's move towards green, inclusive, smart and productive cities.
Priority area 2: ‘Promoting sustainable and inclusive Growth and Jobs’ focuses on the support of the productive sectors’ sustainable energy, transport and digital connectivity while promoting employment.
Priority area 3: ’Promoting Democratic Governance and Social Inclusion’ contributes toward a strengthened democracy and human rights, where institutions can be effective and accountable with increased inclusive delivery of basic social services.
Uganda’s annual financing decision for 2021 is already adopted. The action plan shall include the following actions: Civil Society in Uganda Support Programme and supporting sustainable investments in the agricultural sector.