Uganda currently hosts the largest number of refugees in Africa. More than 1.3 million refugees have entered Uganda from neighbouring countries, mainly South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). The Netherlands provides targeted support to refugees and host communities. Providing psychosocial support, agricultural skills and entrepreneurial training addresses the short-term needs of refugees and host communities, while opportunities for income generation are being improved.
Uganda is a relatively stable country in a fragile region. However, Uganda’s governance landscape shows both positive and negative trends. Civil society is vibrant but the space needed to promote democratic governance and human rights is shrinking. Certain groups, including the LGBTI (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex) community, remain vulnerable to prejudice and exclusion. Uganda has a reasonably stable macroeconomic policy and its business climate is slowly improving, which provides opportunities to increase bilateral trade between Uganda and the Netherlands.
The Netherlands has aligned its strategy with Uganda’s ambition to become a middle-income country, as stipulated in Uganda’s ‘Vision 2040’ and its National Development Plan II. This is done by supporting the commercialisation of the agricultural sector and private sector development, but also by enhancing security and rule of law and empowering Ugandan citizens to engage in improved democratic governance. At the same time, it is necessary to address the high population growth and reduce unmet needs for contraception and the prevention of maternal mortality and sexual and gender-based violence.