Minister Kitt visits Uganda for Talks on Aid Programme and DRC
The Minister of State for Development Cooperation and Human Rights, Tom Kitt TD, today completed a three day visit to Uganda, where he inspected the Irish development cooperation programme and had consultations with Ugandan Government Ministers.
In the course of these consultations Minister Kitt raised concerns about the ongoing conflict in the Ituri region of the Democratic Republic of Congo and the need for full compliance by all parties with the Lusaka Agreement. The Minister was assured by Uganda's Deputy Foreign Minister that all Ugandan troops have now left the DRC and that Uganda is cooperating with the Interim Multinational Force (MNF). He also discussed a number of humanitarian crises currently affecting Uganda.
At a meeting with the Acting Finance Minister, there was a general overview of Ireland's sizeable development cooperation programme in Uganda (valued currently at over €30 million per annum). Minister Kitt made clear the Government's commitment to its development partnership with Uganda. He touched on a number of governance issues relevant to the process of democratisation in Uganda and on the need to ensure that Uganda maintains a sharp focus on poverty reduction.
Following his visit to Kampala, the Minister visited the Rwenzori region of western Uganda to inspect programmes and projects funded by the Irish aid programme. He visited a major teacher training college and other education facilities as well as a health centre. He saw too the valuable work being carried out by a number of Irish NGOs, particularly in the fields of HIV/AIDS and education. The Minister's itinerary included a visit to a reception centre for refugees from the DRC.
To underscore Ireland's long-term commitment to Uganda, Minister Kitt performed the official opening of new premises for the Irish Embassy in Kampala.