Highlighted results

The judiciary has registered a reduction of 12.5% in the case backlog.

More than 100,000 extra schoolchildren from 285 primary schools benefited from the school milk programme, cumulatively reaching more than 200,000 schoolchildren.

More than 6,300 youths (2,400 female and 3,900 male) were trained in various agri-business skills leading to 1,936 jobs (819 for females).


Uganda is currently hosting the largest number of refugees in Africa. More than 1.1 million refugees have entered Uganda from neighbouring countries, mainly South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). At the same time, during this period many important political events took place in Uganda. The presidential age limit was removed from the constitution and local council elections took place for the first time in 17 years, but there was also increased unrest and political tension in the country. Opposition parties and NGOs had greater difficulty working in Uganda, especially those working on LGBTI (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex) rights.

Uganda is a country with huge potential, a stable economic policy and opportunities in the agricultural and energy sectors. However, due to the high increase in population (more than 3% per year), economic growth can only partly reduce the existing poverty.

The Netherlands’ support during this period focused on welfare improvement for all Ugandans. To achieve this, the Netherlands contributed to strengthening the rule of law, improving food and nutrition security, and enhancing trade and investment.

More attention than before has been given to supporting sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR). This is partly because of the large amount of refugees that entered Uganda and their vulnerability to sexual health issues. Uganda has an open, active policy on hosting refugees, which are not confined to camps and receive a small plot of land to cultivate. In response to this policy, the Netherlands has increased its support to refugees and host communities mainly in northern Uganda.

Results 2018

The Netherlands’ programme in Uganda focuses on improving Security and the Rule of Law, Food and Nutrition Security, Trade and Investment, and increasingly on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR). An Aid and Trade approach guides the economic-oriented programmes, in which the comparative advantages of Dutch trade and expertise are being used to achieve long-term development co-operation objectives.

The Netherlands has supported Uganda in making progress in improving the Justice Law and Order Sector (JLOS). This sector includes the judiciary, the police and prisons. An important result was the establishment of JLOS centres in 87 of the 127 districts in Uganda. Challenges remain, however, including ensuring the accountability and credibility of the various JLOS institutions. In this reporting period, the Netherlands applied a dual approach of supporting the JLOS government institutions and, at the same time, supporting civil society efforts to deal with justice and legal affairs. The focus was on increasing rights awareness and access to justice, and supporting institutional and legal reform.

Support to the agriculture sector has benefited more than 100,000 farmers through a market-led approach, which supports farmers in becoming entrepreneurs and strengthens the companies that provide services to them. This is complemented by improving the enabling role of government institutions. The school milk programme again exceeded its targets, reaching close to 200,000 children.

The Netherlands also became more involved in the political dialogue on the importance of sexual rights.

The Netherlands has become a visible and strong partner in support of Uganda’s policies in hosting more than one million refugees from South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Results by theme

Security and Rule of Law Food security Sexual and reproductive health and rights Private sector development

Featured project Uganda

Justice, Law and Order Sector (JLOS)

For the first time, Ugandan courts held special sessions to handle cases of violence against women and girls. This initiative was taken by the JLOS. In Uganda, more than 60% of criminal cases are related to sexual and domestic violence. The pilot project was also used to consider the establishment of a special SGBV division of the High Court.

Furthermore, there were discussions on how to reduce the number of pending SGBV cases in the system and help people working in the JLOS to better handle cases of gender-based violence. The sessions contributed to SDG 5. A session was held in each of the selected courts in 13 districts around the country, in which 641 cases have been treated, putting SGBV violations and convictions higher on the agenda.

Security and Rule of Law

The results in context

Under the fourth JLOS Sector Development Plan (SDP), the priority is on empowering the people: building trust and upholding rights. The SDP is funded by the Ugandan government and various donors, including the Netherlands. A five-year arrangement with the government of Uganda was signed late in 2017, to provide a grant of EUR 10 million.

As confirmed during the JLOS Annual Review of September 2018, overall progress was satisfactory. The Chief Justice showed strong leadership in requesting more political and financial support for the sector.

Most important results

1) a total reduction in case backlog of 12.5% in a single year and an overall reduction of 70% since 2015, taking into consideration the growth in the number of cases;

2) the presence of police services in refugee settlements/camps and host communities;

3) business registration and an efficient legal framework for settling disputes;

4) the government’s new Transitional Justice Policy;

5) special sessions of court to specifically address Sexual and Gender Based Violence (SGBV) cases;

6) 76.3% of children/youth cases are now diverted to special courts for children. The baseline was 75%, the 2021 target is 80%.

Main challenges

in spite of all its efforts, the sector has not yet been able to effectively fight corruption;

there are still serious incidents of brutalities and human rights violations happening in the sector.

In general, room for opposition parties and NGOs to express themselves has shrunk during the reporting period. This has sometimes compromised the positive results achieved by the sector.

Successful pilot

With Dutch funding, the Judiciary carried out a successful pilot with mobile courts for refugees. They started with four such courts in the refugee/host community settlements of Hoima, Adjumani, Moyo and Yumbe. Important services, such as prosecution, probation, legal aid and prisons, were supported to ensure the success of the mobile courts. The sector provided funding to the Uganda Law Society for the legal aid programme and lawyers to represent refugees for free.



Population’s perceptions of improved capacity of the judicial system




On track

Trust in the JLOS institutions has increased from 49% to 59%, according to the LASPNET State of Access to Justice Report 2017. According to the HiiL (The Hague Institute for Innovation of Law) report ‘Family Justice in Uganda 2017’, the public gave solutions provided by dispute resolution institutions a rating of 3.8 on a scale from 1 to 5.


Number of people (M/F) with increased access to justice


Around 26,000 (26% women)


On track

Several donors provide around EUR 16 million annually to the Democratic Governance Facility (DGF). This enables more than 80 state and non-state partners to strengthen democratic governance, to request better access to justice and to support civilians in their demand for improved accountability. Under the DGF Programme at present, 12 legal aid service providers are fully operational in 94 of the 127 districts in Uganda. They provide their services to approximately 81,000 people annually.

Number of people

Food security

The results in context

Most of the projects’ mid-term review findings confirmed that they are on track to achieve their targets and are having an increasingly positive impact in their sectors.

Specifically, the school milk programme again exceeded its targets, reaching close to 200,000 children. Overall, food and milk prices were stable. Also, the farmer-based system for production of improved seed, Local Seed Business (LSB), is becoming more well-known, both among farmers and public and donor partners. The improved Dutch potato varieties have shown promising results at farmer level.

The start-up phase of the Climate Smart Agriculture Programme was important in preparing the selection of (future) business cases in Uganda. The Best Farmer Competition and Harvest Money Expo have motivated farmers to start selling their produce on the open market instead of exclusively consuming it with their own families.



Number of family farms reached directly




On track

The Netherlands’ Food and Nutrition Security programme focuses on increasing market access for farmers and strengthening the support services that farmers need. It stimulates farmer-to-farmer training, farm-based training facilities, the commercial production of seeds by famers’ business groups and linking farmers to (private) service providers, like banks, agro companies, processors and off takers. The result is that more farmers are able to commercialise their farming and improve their well-being.

Through awareness campaigns (TV shows, community road shows and printed material), many farmers have been reached with information on modern farming. In addition, the country-wide Best Farmer Competition and Harvest Money Agro Show have indirectly reached more than 500,000 households, motivating them to start commercial farming.


Number of family farms with increased productivity and/or income




On track

The Dutch programme has led to a substantial increase in productivity. Although production increases per acre were partly due to favourable rainfall, production levels were well above the national averages. The increased production was partly offset by a small decline in prices, reducing productivity gains. Nevertheless, the farmers’ incomes increased.

In the dairy sector, farmers are increasingly investing in their farms and there has been significant growth in production per cow and overall production (leading to an increase in exports of dairy products).

Through the introduction of new technologies, the large gap between dry and rainy season production is slowly decreasing. Several projects, such as the seed programme, are focusing on the challenge of climate change. These projects are developing more drought-resistant and early-maturing seed varieties. Increased use of high-quality seeds has resulted in increased productivity.

The repair of 44 km of community roads to increase farmers’ access to markets has further enhanced farm productivity. Linking producers to market buyers, which is a key element of the Netherlands’ policy, has been increasingly successful with the involvement of Dutch companies.


Number of jobs supported in agricultural chains/sectors


2,236 jobs


On track

The youth employment programme created 1,594 jobs (615 for women) for young people in selected agri-enterprises, mostly through a training programme that combines learning and earning a start-up income. In other projects, 642 jobs were created in the service sector through the establishment of private services for crop spraying, for example, and the production of quality declared seeds by local seed businesses and other service providers.

Sexual and reproductive health and rights

The results in context

With a population growth rate of 3% per annum, Uganda has a fast-growing and young population. At the same time, a significant number of women are unable to access birth control measures. This prevents them from being able to decide if and when to have children. Other pressing issues include the high number of teenage pregnancies and early marriages.

Some political leaders are increasingly acknowledging and supporting the need for Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR). In addition, the new National Population Policy acknowledges the need for SRHR for young people as an essential element for development. This creates a positive environment to further strengthen political support in this field.

The Netherlands is stepping up its support of Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights. Thanks to the Netherlands and other partners’ lobbying and advocacy activities, in 2018 the Ugandan Ministry of Health promised to allocate 10% of its annual Reproductive Maternal Newborn Child and Adolescent (RMNCAH) budget to address specifically adolescent SRHR issues. The Netherlands and its partners also contributed to the new National Sexuality Education Framework, launched by the Ministry of Education and Sports. This framework underlines the importance of sexuality education for children in relation to their social and economic well-being.

Private sector development

The results in context

The Netherlands remains one of the biggest markets for Ugandan goods in the European Union. Agro-food, tourism, renewable energy and information technology present a number of opportunities for Dutch companies. The number of Ugandan companies interested in Dutch agricultural inputs, such as seeds and irrigation equipment, is increasing. Capital, knowledge and management skills are key barriers to local entrepreneurship.

Promotion of the Dutch brand in Uganda took place through a successful Best Farmers Competition and Harvest Money Expo, with more than 30,000 registered visitors, and an agro-trade mission from the Netherlands. Dutch companies were able to make good sales of equipment and machinery.

Successful consultations have been organised between Ugandan authorities (Ministry of Trade, Industry and Co-operatives) and Dutch companies in Uganda, under the umbrella of the Netherlands Uganda Trade and Investment Platform (NUTIP).



Increase in inclusive business co-operation between Uganda and the Netherlands




On track

The Aid and Trade agenda continues to create business opportunities for Dutch companies based in the Netherlands, the East African region and within Uganda. The diversity of existing and emerging businesses ranges from agro-food, tourism and consulting to logistics and renewable energy. This demonstrates the increasing business ties between the two countries.

The annual Harvest Money Expo, an agribusiness exhibition and a spin-off of the Uganda Best Farmer Competition, offers a platform that directly links Uganda’s agribusinesses to Dutch suppliers of productivity-enhancing technology, know-how and agro-machinery. The number of Ugandan companies with Dutch business relations has increased.

The embassy brokers businesses deals and Joint Business Ventures between Dutch and Ugandan counterparts through facilitation, lobbying and providing strategic market information. Improving the quality of the business environment in Uganda remains a core objective. Dutch companies are not just suppliers, they are also setting up plants in Uganda.

The number of Ugandan companies with Dutch business relations continued to grow steadily in 2018. Trade and investment facilities at the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO), such as the Dutch Infrastructure Development Fund, Impact Cluster Financing and the Demonstration Facility, have supported the entry of Dutch companies into Uganda.

Background and future Uganda

Glimpse into the future

A new Multi-Annual Country Strategy for 2019 to 2022 will guide future work and results. The strategy aims to contribute to the development of a stable and democratic Uganda, in line with the Sustainable Development Goals and with respect for human rights. It will also contribute to Uganda’s ambition to become a middle-income country, as stated in Uganda’s Vision 2040 document. The Netherlands will continue to support democratisation and the strengthening of the rule of law.

Given the demographic developments and the expertise and experience of the Netherlands, the improvement of family planning services will receive greater attention. The Netherlands will continue to support the development of more sustainable and durable food supply systems with Dutch expertise in agriculture.

The Netherlands will also continue its work on the commercialisation of the agricultural sector. This sector is an important engine for the Ugandan economy and contributes to better food and nutrition security. The ambition is to further increase Dutch-Ugandan investment and trade in a way that is socially and environmentally responsible. This will contribute to improved welfare for all Ugandans.

Furthermore, attention for Uganda’s hosting of refugees from the region will be taken into account in the other programmes. Specific attention will be given to women’s rights and gender equality, climate change and the links between humanitarian aid and development in the long term. Skills training and capacity development will form part of the approach in the various programmes.

Additional sources

Country page on Dutch government site

Page on current policy towards Uganda

Facebook page

Follow the Netherlands Embassy in Uganda on Facebook

Embassy of The Netherlands in Uganda website

Visit the Embassy of The Netherlands in Uganda website

Results Security and Rule of Law

Download PDF with results for Security and Rule of Law in Uganda

Results Food security

Download PDF with results for Food security in Uganda

Expenditure by channel


Expenditure by theme