His mission: To strengthen the links between Uganda and Sweden
”Although l have quite long experience of East Africa it was enriching to meet experts on Uganda”, says newly appointed Swedish ambassador to Uganda, Per Lindgärde. He visited NAI for the ambassador-coaching program and met researchers Angela Muvumba-Sellström, Opira Otto, and Redie Bereketeab.
One main discussion topic was Uganda’s young and fast growing population. It poses a great challenge for the government that needs to live up to their wishes and demands of the future.
The embassy’s primary objective is to expand trade relations between the two countries. For instance, Kampala’s traffic chaos and lack of public transport is something that could interest Swedish companies in the infrastructure sector.
“We will also continue our support to LGBTQ organisations in Uganda. It is a prioritized issue for the Swedish government. However, we must find ways for the support to be as efficient as possible,” Lindgärde notes.
Uganda is of special interest also because of the Swedish seat in the United Nations Security Council. High on the council’s priority list are the conflicts in South Sudan and in Somalia. Uganda is involved in both.
“As a neighbor to South Sudan, Uganda receives thousands of refugees every day. In Somalia, Uganda has troops within the African Union led peacekeeping forces. Uganda’s knowledge and view of these conflicts will be useful for Sweden’s work in the security council”, Lindgärde remarks.