The Speaker of Parliament, Rt. Hon. Rebecca Kadaga, has appealed for increased support from African countries to refugees in Uganda.
“I appeal for additional support. We’ve got a very big burden of refugees from South Sudan, Democratic Republic of Congo and Burundi,” she said while meeting the President (Speaker) of the Chamber of Deputies of Equatorial Guinea, Gaudencio Mohaba Messu, at Parliament Building today, Thursday 22nd June 2017.
Uganda is the second largest refugee hosting country in the world, after Turkey, with her open door policy on refugee reception and settlement. It has an estimated population of 1.2 million refugees.
Kadaga said that big refugee numbers put too much pressure leading to destruction of infrastructure such as roads, schools and health facilities.
“If Equatorial Guinea can make a contribution, we shall be very happy,” Kadaga added.
Uganda is currently hosting the Solidarity Summit on Refugees intended to find solutions to the increasing influx of refugees in the country.
The Summit, which is co-hosted with the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) is being attended by the UN Secretary General, Antonio Gutteres and seeks to raise US$2b for relief operations in Uganda.
Gaudencio Mohaba Messu is in Uganda to represent the President of Equatorial Guinea, Obiang Nguema, at the Solidarity Summit and to deliver a message to President Yoweri Museveni to support his country’s quest to have Spanish an African Union working language.
He said that Equatorial Guinea was seeking the support and ratification of an amendment to the Constitutive Act of the African Union by another eight AU Member countries for Spanish to become a working language of the Union.
The current AU working languages are English, French, Arabic, Portuguese and Swahili.
Speaker Kadaga agreed with her visitor arguing that “the people must be obliged to speak a language they are comfortable with.”
She promised to support the proposal and to ask President Museveni and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs about the ratification of the Protocol.