By Francis Kagolo
KAMPALA, Dec 5 — The German government has pledged to align all its future financial support to Uganda to this country’s development priorities in a bid to spur its human development.
The pledge was delivered here Wednesday by Christoph Rauh, the head of the division for Policy Issues of Development Co-operation with Africa in Germany’s Ministry of Economic Co-operation and Development.
Economists have argued that aid cannot uplift Africa’s economies mainly because its priorities are designed from outside. Under the new strategy, Rauh said, Germany will invest in sectors identified as crucial by the government of Uganda.
“We will continue to align our co-operation activities with the development priorities of the Ugandan government, and will offer German support and expertise accordingly, in close coordination with other development partners especially within the European Union (EU),” he said.
“Our aim is to fight poverty and, at the same time, preserve our natural resource base. We cannot achieve one without the other. Germany wants these two processes to be a success, and will make a point of supporting them during its G7 (Group of seven most developed countries) presidency.”
Rauh made the remarks during a workshop here to mark 50 years of Uganda-Germany co-operation.
The bilateral co-operation which began in 1964, two years after Uganda gained independence, has seen Germany emerging as one of Uganda’s key development partners focusing mainly on energy, agriculture, water and governance sectors.
Since 2004, Germany has provided 180 million euros in grants, loans and technical assistance to Uganda for rural electrification and improving power generation from renewable energy sources. Its current projects are designed to supply over two million people with safe drinking water by 2025.
“The successes we have achieved so far in the priority areas of our bilateral cooperation programmes are impressive. For example, people’s access to water and sanitation has improved in urban as well as rural areas,” Rauh said.
Ugandan Finance Minister Maria Kiwanuka said Uganda had recorded steady progress in restoring macro-economic stability with support from development partners like Germany.
German Ambassador Dr. Peter Blomeyer commended to Uganda for its lead role in trying to stabilize the region, especially in Somalia and South Sudan. “We want to partner with Uganda to boost the struggle against conflicts in East Africa,” he noted.
SOURCE: NEW VISION