By Muthoni Karubiu
Ms Lilianne Ploumen, the Netherlands Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Corporation, embarked on a short trip to Uganda this week.
Ms Ploumen met with several parties interested in a strong Ugandan-Dutch development relationship, including the Ugandan Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Trade, Agriculture, Energy, and Justice.
The Minister was joined by Dutch investors during the visit, which occurred between 26th and 27th May. These investors were particularly interested in agri-finance and dairy, while Ms Ploumen is said to have focused on security, rule of law, human rights, food security, trade and investments.
As such, her visit saw her travelling to the child labour free zone in Entebbe, as well as holding discussions with women, human and land rights activists and partners in food security.
Cooperation between the two countries is set to grow in importance as Uganda is counted among the Netherlands’ partner countries for development around the world. This list, which includes EAC members Kenya, Rwanda and Burundi, was recently cut down from a previous thirty three partner countries to the current fifteen, to simplify development collaboration.
Partner countries enjoy a bilateral development relationship with the Netherlands and about 25% of the Dutch development budget directly reaches these fifteen nations.
The Dutch Minister’s meeting with stakeholders in Uganda is therefore an indicator of the nature of the development expectations between both countries.