View of Kampala, the capital of Uganda

Uganda Energy and climate action, good governance, assistance for displaced people

In the past decade, Uganda has evolved into a stabilising political force in East Africa. Within a region that has been one of the conflict hotspots of Africa and continues to experience armed conflict and large-scale displacement, Uganda is actively working for peace, security and regional cooperation. Over many years, Uganda's economy saw sound development, in spite of considerable challenges such as widespread corruption and a high rate of population growth.

Straight to
A geranium farm in Kampala, Uganda

Generally, the Ugandan government's policies are development oriented. In the last two decades, it has been able to achieve visible results in reducing poverty. The COVID-19 pandemic and the Ebola epidemic have slowed this positive trend. Moreover, the current government, which has been in office for many years, is finding it increasingly difficult to lend fresh impetus to development. It had been hoped that oil production would lead to development leaps, but they still have to materialise and might lead to neglect of adaptation processes in other sectors.

Generous refugee policy

Uganda has become the number one host country for refugees in Africa. Some 1.5 million displaced people (as at October 2023), most of them from South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, are staying in Uganda. The government pursues a very generous policy on refugees, which is internationally considered to be exemplary.

However, that policy is now reaching its limits, as host communities' capacity to provide shelter and basic services is nearly exhausted. The sharp increase in food prices worldwide is making it increasingly difficult for the government to provide food for the refugees.

Human rights under threat

A bill passed by Parliament in March 2023 provided for drastic measures against homosexuality and LGBTQI+ persons. It met with harsh criticism from other countries, including Germany.

Criticism was also voiced within Uganda, mainly on legal grounds (with doubts being raised as to whether the bill was constitutional). At the request of the President, the Ugandan Parliament eliminated some of the particularly problematic parts from the bill in early May. However, observers continue to view the bill with great concern. The amended version has again been submitted to the President for approval.

German development cooperation with Uganda

Germany is one of the most important donors for Uganda. The two countries' development cooperation focuses on the priority areas of agriculture / rural development and renewable energy / energy efficiency. Support is also provided to foster good governance and respect for human rights. One special focus of the cooperation programme is assisting refugees and supporting their integration.

At the government negotiations in 2022, the German government committed 68.8 million euros in new funding for Ugandan-German development cooperation.

Cooperation focuses on the following core areas:

  • Transformation of agricultural and food systems
  • Good governance, support for civil society and for displaced persons
  • Renewable energy and energy efficiency

Vocational training and employment promotion

One cross-cutting issue that is addressed in all projects under Ugandan-German development cooperation is the promotion of employment. Based on close partnership with the private sector, the two sides work towards creating job opportunities for young people. Support is provided for practice-oriented vocational training, especially for small and medium-sized enterprises, and for start-up projects. One special focus, as part of Germany's feminist development policy, is on vocational training for women and their integration in the world of work.

Freshly harvested peanuts in Uganda

Core area “Transformation of agricultural and food systems” Increasing productivity and creating jobs Internal link

The main focus of cooperation in this priority area is on enhancing value addition in agricultural production. In northern Uganda in particular, impetus is to be lent to the growth of the rural economy. Increased productivity is to lead to sustained improvements in food and nutrition security and to the creation of new jobs in rural areas.

Building site in Kampala, Uganda

Core area “Good governance, support for civil society and for displaced persons” More transparency and accountability, more revenue, less corruption Internal link

The German Development Ministry supports the Ugandan government in making public administration more transparent, meeting accountability requirements, increasing domestic revenue, and fighting corruption.

Soroti solar power plant in Uganda

Core area “Renewable energy and energy efficiency” Better services for households and businesses Internal link

Not least thanks to Germany's support, Uganda has made considerable progress in the field of power generation and distribution. There are still deficits in the area of grid development. So far, only a little over 25 per cent of the people have access to the national grid. In rural regions, the rate is significantly lower.

Current situation

View of Kampala, the capital of Uganda
Water supply in Kinsenyi, an informal settlement in Kampala
A geranium farm in Kampala, Uganda

As at: 05/05/2023