According to mission head Ambassador Attilio Pacifici, the European Union-EU delegation in Uganda has begun a five-day development mission in the Karamoja sub-region. The nine EU ambassadors arrived in the sub-region on Monday evening and spoke to journalists at Kidepo National Park, revealing that their five-day visit was prompted by a number of issues that continue to stymie development in the region and determining how to address them.
“We go to places where there are problems,” says the narrator. Obviously, there is something here, something that has the potential to be extremely fantastic but is actually not good,” Ambassador Attilio stated. The EU ambassadors are visiting the Karamoja sub-region for the third time in three years. The delegation is one of the sub-most region’s important donors, with a focus on food insecurity, sustainable livelihoods, resilience, and education, among other things.
Karamoja is located in northern Uganda and has a population of about 1 million people, accounting for 2.8 percent of Uganda’s total population. It is the poorest sub-region with the largest population, with 65.7 percent of the population classed as poor or vulnerable, compared to 1.6 percent in Kampala. According to statistics, Karamoja’s average household size is 4.4 percent, households are polygamous, and two out of every five households is headed by a woman.
According to Ambassador Attilio, Karamoja faces particular problems that the EU, in collaboration with local leaders and government, is working to address in order to promote development in the sub-region. “How can Karamoja develop while keeping in mind the necessity to maintain a balance between cultural values and progress? Progress is taking place all over the world, and it is taking place in Karamoja as well, but is it taking place in a way that recognizes the needs of the people?” he inquired.
According to the Ambassador, the focus of their visit would be on cattle rustling in the area.
The Belgian Ambassador, Rudi Veestraeten, stated that they want to provide direct access to diplomacy so that ordinary people, local organizations, and authorities can speak with them directly in order to find quick solutions to the sub-problems. region’s
The Italian Ambassador, Massimiliano Mazzanti, stated that they will also focus on Karamoja’s tourism potential and how it can be fully marketed to generate revenue for the country.
Nicole McHugh, Ireland’s Charge d’Affaires, also stated that their tour to the sub-region will focus on child trafficking, as well as child and women abuse.
The Netherlands’ Ambassador, Karin Boven, stressed that the purpose of their tour is to engage ordinary people and explore how they can support various development prospects. The Ambassador of France, Jules-Armand Aniambossou, expressed the same attitude.
Maria Hakansson, Sweden’s Ambassador, also stated that they will focus and hold discussions on mining in the sub-region in order to ensure that it is used for development rather than to violate children’s rights and other issues.
Later today, the EU delegation will meet with various authorities in Karamoja to discuss environmental protection, wildlife preservation, and tourism, as well as the prospects of a marble mine in Loyoro as a concrete example of public-private collaboration. They’ll also meet with Kaabong officials and education partners to talk about the effects of school closures and teen pregnancies.