KAMPALA, APRIL 27, 2018 —An eleven-member delegation[i] of the World Bank Group Executive Directors visited Uganda from April 23 to 26 2019, to get a first hand view of the Bank’s support to the country’s development priorities. The delegation to Uganda of 11 Executive Directors represents 92 countries and nearly 51% of the Bank shareholding.
During their visit, the Executive Directors met with representatives from central and local government, the private sector, development partners and civil society. Discussions addressed the challenges to Uganda’s sustainable development and opportunities to boost economic growth, jobs, and incomes for country’s young population.
“Uganda has historically enjoyed strong economic growth and made great progress in reducing poverty. But more is needed, especially due to the youthful and rapidly growing population, to ensure quality health care, education, food, and jobs for the next generations,” said Mr. Fernando Jimenez Latorre, Alternate Executive Director representing Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Mexico, Spain and Venezuela.
The Executive Directors were received by H.E. Mr Yoweri Kaguta Museven, President of the Republic of Uganda, and held discussions on recent developments and prospects in key economic sectors and how the Bank can strengthen its support to the country.
During a meeting with the Prime Minister, Dr Ruhakana Rugunda, and later during a visit to a refugee community centre in the surburbs of Kampala, the Executive Directors were briefed about the country’s progressive refugee policy and the Bank’s support (up to $500 million) towards sustaining this amidst continued inflow of refugees from neighbouring countries due to conflict. Uganda has won international recognition for its open-door policy towards refugees, and currently hosts an estimated 1.2 million refugees, making it the largest refugee-hosting country in Africa and third largest in the world.
In Jinja, they met with the representatives of the municipality and local people benefitting from improved transport infrastructure to boost local economic development supported under the Bank’s project on Uganda Support for Municipal Infrastructure Development (USMID).
During a visit to the Bujagali dam, the Executive Directors discussed energy sector reforms and prospects to increase investments. The 250 MW Bujagali Hydroelectric project, the largest IPP in the country, represents the first ever joint WBG project in Uganda, as it is financed by the International Finance Corporation and also benefits from an IDA Partial Risk Guarantee and political risk insurance from MIGA. Both MIGA and IFC also provided coverage for the Umeme power distribution concession from 2005-2016.
The Executive Directors placed a particular focus on addressing social risks in infrastructure development projects to prevent child abuse and other forms of gender-based violcence. They also focused on investing in human capital--through the creation of more opportunities for empowering women and girls-- during consultations with Government and Civil Society Organizations that are active in this field.
The World Bank Group has a strong partnership with Uganda, with a cumulative investment of more than $10 billion since 1963. The current investment portfolio cuts across all key sectors, and includes of $2.8 billion from the International Development Association (IDA), an International Finance Corporation portfolio of $175.2 million including funds mobilized from its partners, and a Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency portfolio of $236 million.
World Bank Group Board of Directors: The World Bank Group Board members are collectively called the Executive Directors. The Board of Directors includes the President of the World Bank Group and 25 Executive Directors. Member countries of the World Bank Group appoint or elect Executive Directors to the Boards of the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), International Development Association (IDA), International Finance Corporation (IFC) and Directors to the Board of the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA). While the World Bank Group maintains four Boards for these separate arms, Executive Directors typically serve on all Boards simultaneously.
[i] The delegation of the Executive Directors include: Ms. Anne Kabagambe (Executive Director, and Host for Uganda) Mr. Jean-Claude Tchatchouang (Executive Director); Mr. Armando Manuel (Alternate Director); Mr. Fabio Kanczuk (Executive Director); Mr. Gunther Schoenleitner (Executive Director); Ms. Christine Hogan (Executive Director); Ms. Minwen Zhang (Alternate Executive Director); Mr. David Kinder (Alternate Executive Director); Mr. Erik Bethel (Alternate Executive Director); Mr. Pierre Chotard (Alternate Executive Director); Mr. Fernando Jimenez (Alternate Executive Director).