This year the Republic of Uganda celebrates its fiftieth anniversary of independence and the Ugandan Foreign Ministry feels that is an appropriate time for it to carry out a re-assessment of its performance over the past fifty years. For this exercise the Ugandans selected a few countries with which to compare notes. One of the chosen countries was Malta, for two reasons. The first was that the Ugandan authorities had been impressed by the professional way in which Malta organized CHOGM in 2005, an exercise from which Uganda, which was the host for the following CHOGM , had learned a great deal. The second reason was that Malta too is fast approaching its own 50th anniversary of independence and was therefore very useful for comparative purposes, in the areas of foreign policy formulation, coordination and implementation as well as challenges, opportunities and prospects.
The Ugandan 3-person delegation was led by the Foreign Ministry’s Permanent Secretary, Ambassador James Mugume and was welcomed by Ambassador Joe Cole, standing for the Permanent Secretary Dr John Paul Grech who was on a mission overseas. The Ministry arranged a full programme of meetings with several of its top officials as well as with senior officials from other Ministries and entities. Topics discussed included, inter alia, Structure and functions of the Ministry, Human Resources management and training, Malta in the European Union, Sanctions and restrictive measures, Development aid, relations with ACP countries, Mediterranean Regional issues, Multilateral and Global issues, Gender mainstreaming, Direct Foreign Investment, Information Technology, the role of the Media in Foreign Affairs, and Climate Change.
The Ugandan delegation, which is planning to set up its own Foreign Service Institute also visited the Mediterranean Academy of Diplomatic Studies, which offered its assistance in this project. A memorandum of Understanding is expected to be signed in the near future.
The Ugandan delegation expressed its heartfelt thanks to the Ministry for the excellent programme it had laid on for the delegation and had no doubt that the level of cooperation shown by Malta ensured that relations between the two Commonwealth countries would continue to strengthen .