On 14th May 2019, HE Dr Albrecht Conze the Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany to Uganda accompanied by Lt Col Joern Fiedler, the Defense Attaché accredited to Uganda paid a courtesy call to the Minister of Defense and Veteran Affairs Hon Adolf Mwesige at the Ministry headquarters in Mbuya.
The Minister and the guests discussed several matters of bilateral interest ranging from security, tourism, and military training.
Hon Mwesige informed the guests that the Ministry is constructing a military referral hospital and when completed, UPDF Officers and men will no longer be sent abroad for specialized treatment.
This will also cut down on medical expenses, adding that there is therefore a need to train specialised UPDF doctors to man the facility . The Minister also thanked the Republic of Germany for its continued support to the UPDF.
HE Dr Conze commended the UPDF’s role in stabilizing Somalia and promised to continue supporting it especially in capacity building through increased training.
The Ambassador announced an offer to UPDF to send a Senior Officer for training in Germany.
In attendance were the Permanent Secretary Ministry of Defence and Veteran Affairs Mrs Rossette Byengoma ,the UPDF Joint Chief of Staff, Lt Gen Joseph Musanyufu among others.
On 13th May 2019, 33 Nigerian Armed Forces Command and Staff College Students led by Brig Gen LA Adegboye are on a study tour in Uganda that commenced on 11th May 2019 and is set to end on 18th May 2019.
During their meeting with the UPDF Senior leadership at the UPDF headquarters Mbuya Hill, the UPDF Chief of Training and Recruitment [CTR] Maj Gen Willis Byarugaba, who represented the CDF Gen David Muhoozi welcomed the Nigerian delegation and lauded them for choosing Uganda as their study tour destination.
Maj Gen Byarugaba observed that there’s need to maintain close regional cooperation between Uganda and Nigeria which is premised on the fact that both countries share a lot in common.
He also advised the visiting students to make Africa a better place by using African solutions to solve African problems through unity.
He encouraged them to read a handbook by Kwame Nkrumah titled “Africa must unite or perish!” to get an insight of why Uganda is called: ‘The Pearl of Africa’.
The CTR cautioned the delegation to use their stay in Uganda as an opportunity to look ahead and extract opportunities that are beneficial to their country.
“Sharing our experiences broadens our understanding of the need for Pan Africanism in tackling African challenges; and this can be achieved through patriotism, sacrifice, discipline, among others” counseled Maj Gen Byarugaba.
In his presentation, the UPDF Deputy Chief Political Commissariate Col Barigye Ba Hoku who represented the UPDF Chief Political Commissar explained that Uganda’s development is built on the tenets of strong ideology and Democracy, Pan-Africanism and a clear path to social-economic transformation.
The head of the students’ visiting team and directing staff college of Nigerian Armed Forces Command and staff college Brig Gen LA Adegboye commended the Government of Uganda for spearheading poverty eradication and thanked UPDF Leadership for the well disciplined and professional Commanders.
He also promised to use the acquired Ugandan experience in solving their problems back home.
The Nigerian Armed Forces College of Defense will, during their stay,visit other important places that include; Quality Chemicals Luzira, Uganda Rapid Deployment and Capability Centre [URDCC], Uganda Peoples’ Defence Airforce, Source of the Nile, among others.
On 13th May 2019, the Ministry of Defence and Veteran Affairs and the Government of Japan have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU),at the Ministry of Defence and Veteran Affairs headquarters in Mbuya, to enhance the development of infrastructural projects in Uganda.
The Minister of State for Defence and Veteran Affairs Hon (Rtd) Lt Col Dr. Bright Rwamirama expressed gratitude for the Japan African Development Corporation, saying the partnership will help Uganda boost its investment in infrastructural projects for economic growth.
He noted that Japan’s involvement in the construction of a health facility, a rehabilitation and resettlement centre for military veterans, solar manufacturing plant and the provision of agricultural inputs, among others, will improve the welfare of Ugandans.
He added that the donation of five (05) ambulances, solar pumps, solar panels and five (05) fire fighting trucks will ease government operations, while the one hundred (100) modern ultra sewing machines will make a positive impact on military veterans.
“These donations will be put to good use,” Hon Rwamirama promised both the Japanese and UPDF delegation.
The Minister of State for Defence in Charge of Veteran Affairs, however, decried the poor state of waste management, logistics and transport sectors in Uganda, prompting Japan to increase on the donation of transport trucks to sixty (60) in number, five trucks per month for a period of one year.
Hon Rwamirama further observed that the Government of Uganda is committed to the improvement of the lives of military veterans, their spouses and children in recognition of their selfless efforts towards bringing peace and stability in Uganda.
During the same meeting, the Head of the Japanese delegation and Special Advisor to the Japanese Cabinet, Professor Isao Iiijima commended the Uganda Government for recognizing his government’s involvement in efforts aimed at enhancing infrastructural development by Katanayagi Corporation.
He mentioned that Japan has got the required finance and technology to help when need arises.
Prof Isao also announced that the Japanese Government has donated one hundred (100) sewing machines to Women Groups through the President’s Office.
The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Defence and Veteran Affairs Mrs. Rosette Byengoma said the Japan Africa Development corporation has come at a time when the Defence Ministry is designing a strategy aimed at smoothening the transition of military veterans to civilian life.
She said the solar panels and pumps from Eiki shoji Company, that await testing for the establishment of the solar plant and the (100)hundred sewing machines to military veterans will settle and re-integrate them into civilian life.
The General Manager for the Japan African Development Corporation Masanori Yamazaki signed the MOU on behalf of the Japanese Government while the Deputy Managing Director of the National Enterprise Corporation (NEC) Brig Ddiba Sentongo signed the MoU on behalf of the Ministry of Defence and Veteran Affairs.
The signing of the MOU was also witnessed by the Chief of Defence Forces Gen David Muhoozi, UPDF Joint Chief of Staff Lt Gen Joseph Musanyufu, and Commissioner in charge of Psycho-social support, resettlement and rehabilitation in the Ministry of Defence and Veteran Affairs Mr. Mike Mabonga, among others.
UK military students
On May 13, 2019, the Chief of Training and Recruitment, Maj Gen Willis Byarugaba, has met with the visiting members of the UK Royal College (RCDS) at the Ministry of Defence Headquarters, Mbuya in Kampala.
Maj Gen Willis Byarugaba, who represented the Chief of Defence Forces Gen David Muhoozi welcomed the students and commended the United Kingdom for their continued support to the Uganda Peoples Defence Forces (UPDF) which has enhanced the latter’s capacity, most especially in peace support operations, strengthening regional peace and stability among others.
Brig Byarugaba said UPDF’s role is to protect the security and interests of our country and urged the visiting students to use their stay in Uganda as an opportunity to tour our beautiful Uganda, fondly referred to as the pearl of Africa.
He also urged them to extract opportunities that are beneficial to them and continually work towards maintaining close cooperation between the two countries.
Maj Gen Byarugaba observed the need to address global challenges like the high unemployment levels especially amongst the youth, technology challenges among others.
Maj Gen Charlie Herbert, the head of the UK delegation expressed gratitude for UPDF’s outstanding contribution towards the African mission in Somalia (AMISOM) since 2007.
On the situation in South Sudan, he expressed optimism at the positive development in the country pointing out that there is light at the end of the tunnel thanks to IGAD supported peace process.
He further applauded Uganda’s commitment to Africa’s integration and Sought for continued closer ties.
The meeting was attended by the UPDF Chief of Personnel and Administration (CPA) Brig George Igumba, Uganda’s Defence Attaché to (UK) Brig Mathew Gureme among others.