What a beautiful country Uganda is! This was my immediate impression when I arrived here for the first time in 2016. The apt moniker, ‘The Pearl of Africa" by Sir Winston Churchill, a former British Prime Minister describing the country's beauty immediately came to my mind. This is clear once you see the rich tropical vegetation, the climate and as you interact with the warm welcoming people and partake of their various cultures.
Apart from the natural endowments, Uganda's geographical situation is unique in its kind. Bordered by five countries, this land-locked East African country is strategically located for regional trade and development; linking other land-locked and resource-rich countries with an external port (Kenya's port of Mombasa).
Conversely, it's true that Uganda is facing a number of challenges in her efforts to achieve a better standard of life for all her citizens. Poverty eradication is still a huge stumbling block on the road to improved livelihoods. The decades-long conflict in the northern region of Uganda has resulted into rather retarded progress regarding basic infrastructure and social services development and consequently, caused regional disparities between the north and other regions.
JICA will strive to work on human security and equality growth in order to achieve peace, stability and prosperity in accordance with Japan's Development Cooperation Charters. JICA's mission is consistent and fully aligned with the core vision of the SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals) adopted at the United Nations Summit in September 2015 –"people-centered" and "no one is left behind"
To tackle challenges to sustainable development in Uganda, we shall double down our mission under the Country Assistance Policy of the Government of Japan to the Republic of Uganda through "Supporting poverty reduction and regional disparity redress through economic growth. JICA's cooperation to Uganda is to focus on;
1) Improving the environment to attain economic growth,
2) Raising incomes in rural areas,
3) Improving living conditions (health services and water supply) and
4) Providing support to the northern region.
In the course of my stay here, I have interacted with and been inspired by countless citizens who, against insurmountable odds, are striving to eke out a living to improve themselves and their communities and country at large. With such people at the fore of development efforts, there isn't a shadow of doubt in my mind that the country will go from strength to strength in its bid to achieve middle income status; because it has the potential.
Finally, I commit myself to work together as a partner with the great people of Uganda