Vaughan Gething AM, Cabinet Secretary for Health, Wellbeing and Sport in the Welsh Government, visited Uganda from 22 to 27 October. His visit was timed to mark 10 years of Wales for Africa, the Welsh Government’s sustainable development programme on the continent.
Prior to the visit, Mr Gething said:
It’s an absolute privilege to visit to Uganda to see the positive impact our Wales for Africa programme is having on people’s lives. I look forward to seeing, first hand, the difference Welsh support and fundraising is making on the ground and meeting the people whose lives have been changed thanks to the generosity of the people of Wales.
Mr Gething began his visit programme with a briefing by High Commissioner HE Alison Blackburne and Deputy Head of DFID Uganda Jo Simpson at the High Commissioner’s Residence in Kampala. He then travelled to Mbale District in Eastern Uganda, undertaking a four-day programme that provided him with first-hand experience of the Wales for Africa programme, and its projects and initiatives in the Mbale area.
During his time in Mbale, Mr Gething visited:
Salem tree nursery, which is part of the 10 Million Trees project supported by the Welsh Government. So far over 4.2 million trees have been planted, helping to combat climate change and supporting farmers in the area;
The Honey Hub, to launch a project which trains farmers to keep bees and harvest honey in a sustainable way;
Bumayoka Primary School’s mini hydropower project, which uses equipment donated by the Welsh charity PONT to provide lighting for the school after dark. Mr Gething switched on new state-of-the-art LED lights donated by Welsh firm Sedna Lighting;
Bumayoka Primary School, to see the new roof paid for with funds raised by Cardinal Newman High School in Pontypridd;
Mbale Regional Referral Hospital, to tour units supported by the Welsh community;
The Teams4U, Menstrual Health project in Kumi, a scheme that provides sanitary solutions to stop thousands of girls in Uganda dropping out of education.
Mr Gething concluded his visit to Uganda with a networking reception for the Welsh community in Uganda, hosted by the High Commissioner at her Residence in Kampala. He gave a speech in which he reflected on his visit, and the first-hand experience he had gained of the work that Welsh organisations and individuals are doing to improve lives in the country.
Wales for Africa was created in 2006 and supports people to be more actively involved in international development, by collaborating with individuals, communities, the third sector and the public sector to build a fairer world. It encourages placements and twinning which contribute to UN sustainable development goals delivery. It also builds the capacity of small Welsh International Development Non-governmental Organisations and aids the co-ordination of the sector, as well as promoting best practice in fair trade and ethical procurement across the public and private sectors in Wales.