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MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS AT 6TH EU-AU SUMMIT, BRUSSELS

Friday, 18th February 2022
From left: Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, Hon. Gen. Odongo Jeje Abubakhar, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Charles Michel, President of the European Council and Emmanuel Macron, French President.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Hon. Gen. Odongo Jeje Abubakhar participated in the 6th EU-AU Summit in Brussels on 17 and 18 February 2022. The Summit was held with the objective of building a new partnership between Africa and Europe taking into account global challenges such as peace and security, climate change as well as the current health crisis due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 
Hon. Gen. Odongo Jeje Abubakar, was accompanied to the Summit by H.E Rebecca Amuge Otengo, Ambassador of the Republic of Uganda and Permanent Representative to the African Union, H.E Mirjam Blaak, Ambassador of the Republic of Uganda to Belgium; Amb. Arthur Kafeero, Ag. Director Regional and International Political Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs; and other Senior Officials. 
Gen. Odongo represented H.E Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, President of the Republic of Uganda at the Summit. He attended two round table thematic discussions, where he briefed the Summit on Uganda's stabilization role in the region, and shared experiences in contributing to peace and security in Africa, including the ongoing joint efforts with the Democratic Republic of Congo to neutralize the ADF terrorist group. He condemned the current resurgence of coup d'etats in Africa and observed that coups are a thing of the past. He cautioned against external meddling in African affairs by arrogant actors who do not listen to the African Union. He warned that the exclusion of certain actors in the national political processes in some countries was a mistake that ought to be avoided. He stressed that Africa has the capacity to solve the problems the continent currently faces, including defeating terrorism, through sharing ideas and cooperation among itself. 
Regarding the COVID-19 pandemic, Gen. Odongo informed the Summit of the improved situation in Uganda and thanked the EU and other international partners that have provided support to African countries in responding to the pandemic. He further informed Uganda was developing its own vaccines, and welcomes collaboration with other countries. "The lack of equal access to the COVID-19 vaccines was a good lesson for Africa, which has now realized the need to build local capacity to develop and manufacture vaccines including fast tracking research and development of therapeutics and diagnostics", he emphasized. 
During the thematic session on Agriculture, Gen. Odongo, called for investment in agriculture and agro processing noting that Agriculture contributes 17% of the GDP and employs 60% of the population. 65% of all the uncultivated arable land left in the world lies in Africa. The food and Agri-business sector is projected to grow from USD 330 Bn to One Trillion USD by 2030 and that Agriculture, holds the key to accelerated sustainable and inclusive growth and development. To that end, he called for value addition in order to address the challenges of unemployment; increase household incomes; fight hunger; silence the guns; mitigate climate change and the irregular migration of African youth to other continents which is a major issue for our partners.  
While in Brussels, Gen. Odongo joined other leaders who participated in the high-level meeting organized by the European Corporate Council of Africa and Middle East (ECAM) to interest the private sector to invest in health. Gen. Odongo briefed on the COVID-19 situation in Uganda and proposed areas of joint collaboration to build quality healthcare infrastructure such as Intensive Care Units (ICUs), develop pharmaceutical industry and enhance capacity to manufacture vaccines on the African continent.
On the margins of the Summit, Gen. Odongo met H.E Brahim Ghali, President of the Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic and exchanged views on issues of mutual interest. Other bilateral meetings were held with different delegations including senior officials of the EU Commission.
At the end of the Summit, the Leaders adopted a Joint Declaration on a joint AU-EU vision for 2030. The declaration outlines common priorities for the EU-Africa partnership in the agreed strategic areas such as peace and security, health, education, infrastructure, energy, industrialization and manufacturing, climate change, migration and support to refugees.
Uganda welcomes the renewed partnership with the EU and looks forward to continued cooperation to seize the shared opportunities and address common challenges.

Source: Uganda Embassy Brussels

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