High on the Executive Secretary’s agenda were progress and challenges related to the delivery of basic social and infrastructure services, the Millennium Development Goals and the post-2015 framework – all core elements of UNCDF’s work in Uganda.
Ms Karl met with the Governor of the Bank of Uganda, Emmanuel Tumusiime-Mutebile, the Minister of Local Government, Adolf Mwesige, and the Permanent Secretary of Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development, Fred Kabagambe-Kalisa, as well as other government officials, development partners, civil society representatives and academics.
Ms Karl said she looked forward to expanding the relationship between UNCDF and Uganda.
“I welcome the ongoing, close collaboration between UNCDF and the Government of Uganda and our shared conviction that the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals is a collective undertaking that requires the involvement of multiple development partners,” Ms Karl said.
“UNCDF has a special investment mandate allowing it to extend loans, guarantees and capital grants of any size to private or public entities and while the size of these investments has traditionally been small, UNCDF has a track record in applying this flexible mandate in innovative ways to deliver concrete and measurable development results at the local level, while creating the pre-conditions necessary for national scale up in Uganda,” the Executive Secretary said.
While visiting an inspiring YouthStart project in Entebbe involving the Finance Trust Bank, Ms Karl met with local young people who are benefitting from increased access to financial services through this UNCDF partnership with The Mastercard Foundation.
In Uganda, YouthStart works with the Finance Trust Bank and Finca Uganda, and these financial services providers have so far mobilized over US$ 681,000 in savings and offered non-financial service sessions to over 40,900 young Ugandans.
Ms Karl also met with representatives of three UNCDF supported interventions, the Gender and Local Economic Development course at Makerere University, Busia lorry park and the Uganda Crane Creameries Cooperative Union dairy production facility. Among the programmes new to Uganda that Ms Karl discussed was CleanStart, through which UNCDF is partnering with the government, financial service providers and energy companies to help low-income households and micro-entrepreneurs access financing for low-cost clean energy.
Headquartered in New York City, UNCDF has been operating in Uganda since 1982. Its two practice areas - Local Development Finance and Inclusive Finance – have the ultimate goal of eliminating barriers of access by the poor to key financial, social and infrastructure services and unleashing productive capacities.
Uganda is one of 27 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa where UNCDF has active programmes. Today, 37 percent of UNCDF’s portfolio is in East and Southern Africa.
Ms Karl will also visit Tanzania and Ethiopia during her nine-day visit to Africa.
For more information on UNCDF’s work in Uganda, please visit www.uncdf.org/uganda.