Tuesday,September 29,2020 14:35 PM

France commits billions to Uganda's growth

By Gilbert Kidimu

Added 15th July 2016 05:20 PM

France and Uganda are firmly committed to contribute to the mitigation of climate change, a major global challenge for a sustainable development.

 France commits billions to Uganda's growth

Sophie Makame, the French Ambassador to Uganda meets President Yoweri Museveni at State House Entebbe

France and Uganda are firmly committed to contribute to the mitigation of climate change, a major global challenge for a sustainable development.

It is now more certain than ever, based on many lines of evidence, that humans are changing Earth's climate. The atmosphere and oceans are warmer, accompanied by sea-level rise, a strong decline in Arctic sea ice, heavy rains or none at all.  According to the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the first decade of this century (2001 - 2010) was the warmest since 1850 and things are certain to get warmer.

Although Uganda is well endowed with water resources, rain patterns have become increasingly unpredictable and some regions (in the north-eastern and mid-western Uganda) experience recurrent droughts with dramatic consequences on food production. Fast and unplanned urban growth is also contributing to a change in environment.

Many questions remain unanswered and must be addressed with a view to preserving ecosystems, while allowing for a responsible development policy. How eco-friendly innovations might solve the challenges of the growing demand of energy? How might the cities adapt to the consequences of climate change in a context of rapid urbanisation? These questions illustrate the social, economic and political implications of climate resilience issues.

France and Uganda are firmly committed to contribute to the mitigation of climate change, a major global challenge for a sustainable development.

The solar street lights currently defining multiple Kampala streets are, in part, thanks to efforts of the French people.  

The second roundtable on climate resilience in East Africa was held in October at Makerere University, Kampala, as part of a series of discussions dedicated to examining the issue of climate change.

At the event, Ambassador of France to Uganda, Mrs. Sophie Makame, revealed that France was committed to contribute to the Green Fond for climate to the tune of $1 billion, underscoring further its commitment to the fight against climate change.

Executive Director of the Kampala City Council Authority (KCCA), Ms Jennifer Musisi, stressed the importance of climate resilience on the political agenda. She affirmed that today, climate change poses serious challenges in the management of natural resources in ways that can no longer be ignored, adding that resilience to climate begins with individual actions.

She also cited the different initiatives undertaken by KCCA to alleviate and attenuate climate change (use of solar energy for street lightings, reflections on energy-efficient public transport system etc.), and make Kampala a "green, clean and well planned city".

While appreciating the current partnership between KCCA and France (project in support of a low carbon strategy that is resilient to climate change, funded by French Development Agency (ADF) and the French Global Environment Facility (FFEM), implemented with the technical support of ADETEF, the technical arm of the French Ministry of Finance, Jennifer Musisi, invited the panellists and participants to come up with practical solutions to develop resilient cities.

Likewise, the Embassy of France in Uganda, the AFD and the government of Uganda signed three financing agreements in 2015, amounting to €51.7 million of which €51.2 million for rural electrification and €500,000 for feasibility studies and capacity building.

The signing ceremony took place last December at the headquarters of the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development, in the presence of the Ministry's Permanent Secretary, Mr. Keith Muhakanizi, the Ambassador of France to Uganda, H.E Sophie Makame, and the AFD representative in Uganda, Ms. Virginie Leroy.

Muhakanizi thanked AFD for its continued support in the water, sanitation and energy sectors. He saluted the contribution of France and other partners towards the attainment of Uganda's Vision 2040 whose goal is to transform country into a middle income economy. Uganda has meanwhile expressed commitment to double its renewable energy within its INDC framework, in line with the Paris agreement of climate change signed on 12th December 2015.

The French Ambassador highlighted the importance of the projects being undertaken in the implementation of the Sustainable Energy for All (SE4ALL) initiative with the aim of achieving universal energy access, improving energy efficiency, and increasing the use of renewable energy.

Previously, AFD committed more than €352 million, with more than €165 million committed in the last three years, in the following sectors: energy, water and sanitation, private sector, environment / climate change.

Agricultural production and processing, are the most promising sectors for Uganda's growth, are of interest to the French companies, a group of which came to Uganda under the banner of Adepta to take part in the first ever France-Uganda agribusiness forum. This event which took place in December last year brought together local companies interested in discovering what France has to offer.

In her speech, the French ambassador emphasized France's commitment to developing "productive and sustainable" agriculture in Uganda.

Mr. Patrick Batature, Chairman of the Private Sector Foundation Uganda (PSFU), pointed out the clear convergence of views between France and Uganda in this sector, and invited French companies to make use of their field trips to discover the many available business opportunities in the country.
Bitature also urged the representatives of the Ugandan private sector to seek more partnerships with French companies.

Mr. Alain Réocreux who led the Adepta-selected delegation underscored the importance of agriculture in physical planning. Population settlement as a result of territorial development is of particular interest for Uganda, a country with an impressive population growth rate and whose three quarters of the population live on agriculture. Mr. Réocreux also presented the opportunities made possible by nanotechnologies for a better food security, especially in the sector of animal husbandry.

France is the first agriculture-producing country in Europe and the second in the world. Meanwhile, Uganda has a great potential for agriculture development, thanks to its favourable climate and land. Productivity gains can therefore be achieved through the transfer of skills and technologies and this is what the French companies are proposing.

The mission calls for more action in the agricultural field which is crucial for the future of Uganda.

Learning French in Kampala
Created in 1954, Alliance française de Kampala conducts French classes for all levels and for the general public. Frequented by more than 1000 students every year, it also offers several cultural events, regular or occasional: film projections, concerts, etc., as way of promoting francophone and Uganda cultures.

The Ambassadors of France and Germany underscore the importance of learning foreign languages, making a case for the vibrancy of the Franco-German friendship.
The Ambassador of France emphasizes how much learning French is an asset in Uganda, a country neighbouring the biggest francophone country in the World, the DRC, and member of the East African Community (EAC) for which French has been proposed as one of the official languages besides English and Kiswahili. French, a language spoken by more than 274 000 000 people in 77 countries also offers a chance to access higher education in France where each year nearly 300 000 foreign students are admitted, making France the 3rd most popular destination for foreign students.

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