Uganda is a landlocked country that over the past 10 years has achieved considerable progress towards many of the Millennium Development Goal targets, managing to significantly reduce 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 it 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.
The majority of EU development funding to Uganda is financed by the European Development Fund, with the objectives of fostering sustainable development through improved governance and strengthened economic growth. The cycle of 2014-2020 amounts to €578 million. One of its focuses is on transport infrastructure, by supporting the national transport system and an efficient multimodal transport network. It also focuses on food security and agriculture through the promotion of resilience in fragile regions, value chains and green economy, and good governance, by strengthening the financial, democratic and social accountability of the state.
Under the previous cycle of funding from 2008-2013, the EU dedicated €479 million to programmes in Uganda, with a main focus on transport and infrastructure, rural development and macroeconomic support. One particular project with a budget of €40 million financed the renovation of the Northern Corridor Route – linking the country with Kenya, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo – and improving maintenance of the national road network.
Furthermore, Uganda is a beneficiary of actions under the EU Emergency Trust Fund for Africa, in particular related to providing assistance to refugees and displaced persons, as well as supporting host communities through sustainable development and employment opportunities.
Additional support to Uganda is channelled through other EU initiatives, in particular the Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights, the Global Public Goods and Challenges Programme, the Global Climate Change Alliance, and the Instrument contributing to Stability and Peace. Uganda is the 9th most successful African country in the 7th EU Research Framework program and in Erasmus Mundus.