By Spy Uganda
Entebbe: President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni yesterday met the Ambassador of France to Uganda Jules-Armand Aniambossou and discussed bilateral & regional issues-TheSpy Uganda has learnt.
Ambassador Aniambossouwho was in the company of Bertrand Mortemard de Boisse (Defence Attache) and Adonia Ayebare (Uganda’s Ambassador to New York & Permanent Representative to the UN).
In the previous meeting in 2019, Museveni commended the good and strong working relationship between France and Uganda.
The leader noted that the two countries can still do a lot more in terms of development. “Since we came to Government in 1986, Uganda has been having a good relationship with France,” Museveni said.
Uganda-France Mutual Political Relations
Relations between France and Uganda were long affected by Kampala’s foreign policy (including its interventions in the Democratic Republic of the Congo), but have again become confident. Uganda has made increasingly frequent overtures towards France since late 2013, with President Museveni taking part in the Élysée Summit for Peace and Security in Africa and the Ugandan Minister of Foreign Affairs visiting Paris in May 2014. President Museveni very much appreciated his visit to Paris in September 2016, which opened up new possibilities for partnerships (in irrigation, transport, water, revitalization of the national airline, etc.).
In the same vein, French military cooperation in Uganda is undergoing major growth. In 2015, Kampala requested French expertise in training an alpine brigade, and a cooperation officer is now on the staff of the Ugandan People’s Defence Force (UPDF).
The bilateral balance of trade is strongly in France’s favour, with the French trade surplus reaching €45 million in 2017 (its highest level since 2013). In 2017, France was Uganda’s 10th largest supplier (with a market share of 2%), mainly exporting pharmaceutical products (30% of French exports), telecommunications equipment (14% of French exports) and building and mining equipment. Food products make up 94% of France’s imports from Uganda (87% coffee).
There are now about 30 French companies operating in the country, across a wide range of sectors: hydrocarbons (Total Distribution, Total E&P, Friedlander-Ortec), telecommunications (Orange, Alcatel-Lucent, Camusat), transport, logistics and distribution (Air France/KLM, SDV Transami, AGS), industry (Hima Cement-Lafarge, Sogea-Satom, Veolia Water, Renault Trucks), and services (Bureau Veritas, CIS Catering, Newrest, Gras Savoye, IGN, Monnaie de Paris).
French direct investment stock in Uganda stood at €58.3 million in 2016, mainly in the manufacturing sector.
The Agence Française du Développement (AFD) has been present in Uganda since 2009 and has committed almost €240 million to the country over the past three years, notably in the water, sanitation and energy sectors. It is currently positioning itself to widen the scope of its interventions to include “sustainable cities”, by supporting Kampala’s low-carbon strategy.