Uganda's Relations with the UK

For the latest news on Uganda and UK relations, see here.

Relations with the United Kingdom (UK) are historical and important. The UK has a strong bilateral relationship and a significant development partnership with Uganda. The UK extends both budgetary and project aid to Uganda through the Department for International Development (DFID). This assistance is mainly towards the implementation of PEAP, in the areas of education, civil service reform, transport, health, the judiciary, defence and the police.

The UK has also been involved in massive debt cancellation for poor African countries including Uganda.

The Uganda High Commission is engaging the UK so that Uganda realises:

  • Greater access to the UK market for Ugandan exports, for example processed coffee, processed tea, fish, tobacco, fresh flowers, fresh fruits and cotton.
  • An increment of direct investment from the UK.
  • A larger inflow of tourists into Uganda.
  • Cultivate, project and sustain a positive image about Uganda in the UK.
  • An increment in the number of semi-skilled and skilled Ugandans accessing employment in the UK.

There are frequent contacts, the most recent ones were:

Visits to Uganda:

  • Ivan Lewis, Under Secretary of State for International Development (February 2009)

  • Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh and Their Royal Highnesses The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall (November 2007),

  • Prime Minister Gordon Brown (November 2007),

  • David Miliband, Foreign Secretary (November 2007),

  • Hilary Benn, Secretary of State for International Development (May 2006 and April 2005),

  • Lord Bach, Parliamentary Secretary, Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (August 2005).

Visits to the UK:
  • H.E. President Yoweri Museveni in March 2009 and March 2008.
  • Hon. Sam Kutesa, Minister of Foreign Affairs in March 2009 and March 2008, twice in 2007, including as a Guest of Government in September 2007, and

  • Hon. Amama Mbabazi, Minister of Security in September 2008.

UK Nationals:

  • An estimated 3,000 UK nationals live and work in Uganda.

UK Assistance to Uganda

The UK is one of Uganda's largest bilateral donors and has provided over 800 million in development assistance since 1986. Uganda is one of DFID's largest programmes in Africa. In 2007 the UK committed to a new ten-year development partnership worth 700 million, guaranteeing at least 70 million a year in development assistance. DFID have also announced its new 5 year 100 million programme to support development in the north.

Uganda's Relations with Ireland

Uganda and Ireland maintain friendly relations. These have been cemented through the exchange of high level visits. As a result, Uganda is now the largest programme country for Irish Development Cooperation and the biggest recipient of Irish Aid in the whole of Africa. Education (UPE) and health sectors are major recipients of Irish Aid.

The Uganda High Commission is therefore:

  • Continuing dialogue with Ireland with a view of increasing bilateral assistance.
  • Negotiating for increased exports in flowers, processed coffee, tea and fish.
  • Promoting tourism of Uganda's celebrated religious institutions and other tourist destinations.
  • Encouraging the transfer of agricultural technology to Uganda.