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On August 15, 2018 at the foot of Mount Elgon, a new GIZ office was opened to focus on strengthening governance and civil society in Eastern Uganda. The “Civil Society in Uganda Support Programme” (CUSP) which is co-funded by the European Union and the Federal Republic of Germany, is implemented by GIZ, which stands for Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit, one of the implementing agencies of the German Development Cooperation.
The EU is funding "CUSP" with a 25million Euros grant, with German Government funding amounting to 5.3million Euros, the whole amount being equivalent to 128.3 billion Uganda shillings.
The office was opened by H.E. Dr. Albrecht Conze, the German Ambassador to Uganda, the District Chairperson (LC5) for Mbale, Hon. Mujasi Bernard, and Mr Thomas Tiedemann, acting Head of Cooperation at the European Union Delegation to Uganda. More than 100 guests were present, mostly from district authorities and civil society organisations in Eastern Uganda. The event was graced with a short cultural performance, followed by welcoming remarks by the LC I Chairperson, Nankupa Cell and by Dr. Eckart Bode, the GIZ Portfolio Manager in Uganda.
Hon. Mujasi, Ambassador Conze and Mr Tiedemann underscored the importance of civil society to Uganda’s development, praising the close collaboration between Uganda, Germany and the European Union.
Germany, one of the founding members of the European Union has since many years joined hands with the institutions of the European Union in the effort of supporting Uganda’s development.
"This new programme is a further case in point of our long standing joint engagement for Uganda,” said Amb. Conze. In the programme, both Germany and the European Union in Uganda have extended financial support to various Civil Society Organisations. The new CUSP hub in Mbale will specifically support such organisations operating in Eastern Uganda.
The programme will be implemented nationwide and has a strong focus on technical assistance and capacity development to strengthen Civil Society and to promote its exchange with relevant state institutions. The programme will target CSOs providing services in a wide range of sectors, such as; infrastructure, water, energy, rural development, and good governance with a special focus on women and youth.
“The European Union and its member states coordinate their efforts in the sector through the European Union Civil Society Organisation road map, which identifies three main areas of intervention: enhancing efforts to promote a conducive environment for Civil Society Organisations, promoting a meaningful and structured participation of Civil Society Organisations in domestic policies and identifying areas of support and capacity building for Civil Society,” said Mr Tiedemann.