Agriculture is the mainstay of the Ugandan economy, providing a significant share of GDP, 85% of export earnings and 77% of total employment. Moderate economic growth since the 1990s has brought about progress towards achieving the MDGs and improving the country's key social indicators, in particular health and education. Nonetheless, sustained efforts are needed to consolidate achievements in poverty reduction. The main objective of the government's poverty alleviation programme is to foster sustainable development through economic growth supported by sound governance and macroeconomic policies, improved connectivity of national and regional transport infrastructure as well as rural development. According to the Human Development Report 2011, Uganda ranks 161th out of 192.
The Country Strategy Paper for Uganda (2008-2013) presents the strategic framework for cooperation between the European Commission (EC) and Uganda under the 10th European Development Fund (EDF). EC assistance will concentrate on macroeconomic support, rural development and support to the transport sector.
Due to its landlocked nature, Uganda is investing substantially in its national road network, especially the main corridors that provide links with neighbouring countries. The objective is to complete the rehabilitation and upgrading of the Northern Corridor Route, linking the country with Kenya, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo as well as to improve the maintenance of the national road network. Moreover, EC funding will support agriculture development and productivity enhancement, including forestry development and livelihoods recovery in Northern Uganda. This will be complemented by a support programme for conflict resolution and development assistance in Northern Uganda and Karamoja.
The multi-annual indicative programme for Uganda under the 10th EDF amounts to €460.9 million to address these priorities. 41% of EC assistance is in the form of budget support.
EC cooperation with Uganda has evolved significantly over the past 10 years. Under the 9th EDF, the Country Strategy Paper for Uganda (2002-2007) gave priority to rural development, transport and macroeconomic support. A budget of almost €363 million was allocated to these priorities.
The EC has emerged as a major development partner for Uganda in the transport sector, through the funding of rehabilitation, construction, upgrading and maintenance of road infrastructure. EC interventions in the transport sector take place in the framework of the multi-donor Road Sector Development Progamme (RSDP). Past and present involvement in the sector helped to rehabilitate important road links both at national and at district level as well as to provide institutional support.
For further details on projects and programmes in Uganda financed by the European Development Fund and the general budget of the EU, please visit the development cooperation section of the website of the Delegation of the European Union to Uganda.
Other sources of information
More information on EU relations with Uganda is available on the pages of the Delegation of the European Union to Uganda, which is also responsible for co-operation activities in the country.