A total of forty-five (45) Uganda Peoples’ Defence Forces (UPDF) Officers and Militants have been awarded Certificates, Diplomas and Masters in French language proficiency by the Ambassador of France to Uganda H.E Stephanie Rivoal.
The graduation ceremony of both UPDF soldiers, and civilians, was conducted at the French Embassy in Nakasero, Kampala.
H.E Stephanie Rivoal congratulated graduands upon their new achievement, saying French is shared by over 275 million people across five continents; and the figure is projected to reach 700 million people in 2050 with over 80% being in Africa.
Ambassador Stephanie emphasized the relevancy of French language to UPDF soldiers serving in peace keeping missions where French speaking nations also have a stake.
“Using French will ease communication in such missions and will market graduands both at regional and international levels,” she noted.
Speaking at the graduation ceremony on behalf of UPDF, the Defence Spokesperson Brig Richard Karemire expressed his profound gratitude and appreciation to the French Government for strengthening the cooperation between Uganda and France in areas like communication, cultural enhancement, sports, and in building military capabilities, among others.
“Acquiring proficiency in the French language creates more opportunities for the UPDF. We are in an era where we have to support each other in training and while conducting peace support operations, like the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM),” noted Brig Karemire.
He added that French troops have enhanced the military capabilities of UPDF troops at the Peace Support Operations Training Centre-Singo and awakened the ease of maneuvering in a mountainous environment by creating the mountain brigade.
At the same occasion, the France-Uganda Alumni, a network of Ugandans who studied in France was also launched.
The French Government awarded the best overall student Lt Tom Maiga a scholarship to study in France.