Official opening of the Regional Programme Security Dialogue for East Africa - Foundation Office Uganda and South Sudan
The programme of the office opening of the RP SIPODI East Africa started with welcoming remarks by Thomas Tayebwa and an opening speech by Prof. Dr Lammert. The Chairman of the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung (KAS), who had travelled to Uganda accompanied by the Head of the Department Sub-Saharan Africa of KAS, Dr Stefan Friedrich, emphasised: “The work of the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung's offices abroad is based on cooperation and exchange. No country in the world can master the great challenges it faces in the 21st century alone. However, each country must find its own way. The prosperity of Germany and many European countries is the result of the new forms of co-operation we have found for ourselves. Our offer is to share these experiences and thus find solutions together.”
This was followed by a panel discussion on “East African Perspectives on Great Power Rivalry and Block-Building in International Affairs” in which experts from Uganda, Ethiopia and Somalia debated. In his closing remarks, Nils Wörmer thanked the Ugandan partners and especially the team of the Uganda and South Sudan Office and their Country Director Anna Reismann for the excellent support during the build-up phase. He also emphasised the geopolitical importance of Eastern Africa in international politics and named the goals of the programme's work as follows: “We want to contribute to a better understanding of the complex dynamics here in East Africa and the narratives both here and in Europe. We want to achieve this through academic conferences, different discussion formats, research projects, visiting programmes within the region, but of course also between Europe, especially Germany, and East Africa.” Already nine months after Nils Wörmer's arrival in Uganda, the team of the RP SIPODI East Africa consists of nine local staff and is already active with projects in five countries, including Ethiopia and Somalia in addition to Uganda. The closing remarks were followed by a garden reception with high-ranking guests, including Ugandan Ministers and Members of Parliament as well as Ambassadors of East African and European countries and several representatives from academia and civil society.
The two-day visit to Uganda started for Prof. Lammert and Dr Friedrich with political talks, among others with representatives of the academic sector, with a group of MPs in the Parliament of Uganda as well as with the German Ambassador, Matthias Schauer. There was also a discussion with former KAS scholarship holders in Uganda and Ugandan and Ethiopian local staff on the geopolitical complexity of East Africa and political challenges in the region. This was followed by the office opening of RP SIPODI East Africa. Prof. Lammert and Dr Friedrich left the following day for further talks and visits organised by the established Uganda and South Sudan Country Office. Among others, they discussed with the Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Buganda, Charles Peter Mayiga, the Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs, Norbert Mao, with representatives of different start-ups and later with Ugandan journalists. The discussions with political representatives, among other topics, focused on the legislative process of the “Anti-Homosexuality Bill” and the fundamentally different views of both sides regarding its contents. The programme was concluded by a dinner with representatives of the opposition party “Alliance for National Transformation” before the guests left to the airport in Entebbe and from there back to Germany.