Germany and Uganda: Bilateral relations

05.03.2024 - Article

Diplomatic relations were established in 1962, directly after Uganda had become an independent state, and are characterised by stability and trust.

Germany enjoys a very positive image in Uganda, particularly thanks to state and private development cooperation. This focuses on renewable energies and energy efficiency, promotion of employment, and agriculture and rural development. Another priority is Germany’s engagement for the protection of Lake Victoria and other water resources.

Uganda harbours almost 1.6 million refugees, making it currently the biggest host country in Africa. According to the United Nations, around 4 million people in Uganda require humanitarian assistance. The German Government is providing political, financial and personnel support in this situation. The priority is to meet the needs of refugees by providing emergency shelters, clean water and food, as well as to support the integration process.

The activities of organisations with a political focus are increasingly being more closely monitored by the state and may be suspended if they are perceived as being critical of the government. Obstacles are being placed in the path of some international donors. German engagement is currently not directly affected.

The German Government supports the work of political foundations, churches and non-governmental organisations. In addition, around 100 associations and initiatives in Germany promote projects in Uganda.

In 2021, bilateral trade between Uganda and Germany was worth around 231.8 million US dollars. Uganda’s main exports to Germany are coffee, gold, tea and fish. Its main imports from Germany are machinery and chemical products. A few German enterprises operate successfully in the country.

Demand for German tuition in Uganda is growing. The in 1989 founded Ugandan-German Cultural Society has been accredited as a Goethe-Zentrum, offering German courses and language examinations. The Goethe-Zentrum also organises exhibitions and other events as well as artist exchanges. The German Academic Exchange Service awards annual scholarships, promotes university cooperation and seconds a lector to Makerere University. German is on the curricula of fourteen schools in Uganda, including two PASCH schools (members of the initiative Schools: Partners for the Future).

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