KAMPALA – The Minister of State for Foreign Affairs (Regional Affairs) Hon. Philemon Mateke H.E. Hugo Verbist outgoing Ambassador of Belgium to the Republic of Uganda for his outstanding achievements registered during his tenure serving as the Belgian Ambassador to Uganda.
Hon. Mateke made these remarks at a farewell Luncheon at the Serena Hotel hosted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in honour of the outgoing Ambassador. The Minister, further noted that Uganda and Belgium enjoy excellent, warm cordial relations which are anchored on goodwill for the mutual benefit for the development of both countries.
Amb. Hugo recalled that from the time Belgium opened its Embassy in November 1998 in Kampala, the results have been quite impressive. Uganda became one of the 14 development partner countries of Belgium worldwide, with funding of 16 million EUR (or 64 billion UGX) a year ear marked for development programmes in the Health & Education sectors. He further noted the increased number Belgian investments in Uganda and improved trade relations between both countries.
The Ambassador highlighted some of the achievements registered in the Education Sector as far as teachers’ training is concerned and skills development, specifically the numerous projects of refurbishment of various training colleges, renovation of buildings which have provided a conducive learning environment for both the students and teachers. This, he noted, is indeed a manifestation of Belgium’s commitment to development cooperation
The Belgian Development Agency ENABEL an implementing partner, is active in Karamoja, with support from Irish funding, and in northern Uganda in refugee settlements, with funding from the European Union. It has continued to find new partners for the programs that are being developed and this will create a pool of partners with the same direction and purpose. These interventions in the education sector have yielded significant results positively impacting the lives of Ugandans.
In his closing remarks, Amb. Hugo conveyed a sincere message of gratitude to the Minister, and the entire staff of the Ministry for all the assistance that was accorded to him during his tenure noting that this support enabled him to successfully execute his duties as Ambassador emphasizing that Uganda and Belgium share more than just similar colors on their National flags. He further concluded that Uganda will always have a special place in his heart and will carry fond memories of the warmth and hospitality of the Pearl of Africa.
In honour of his Service as Ambassador of Belgium to the Republic of Uganda, Hon. Mateke presented a plaque to H.E. Hugo Verbist in recognition and appreciation of all his the achievements registered during his tenure.
The ceremony was presided over by Amb. Charles Ssentongo the Chief of Protocol. Also in attendance were Members of the Diplomatic Corp and technical staff of the Ministry.