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Hon. Gen. Jeje Odongo Attends the Third Italy-Africa Ministerial Conference in Rome

Friday, 8th October 2021
Hon Odongo with Hon. Marina Sereni,Italian Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation
Hon. Gen. Jeje Odongo, Minister of Foreign Affairs arrived in Italy on 6th October 2021 to participate in the Third Italy-Africa Ministerial Conference from 7th - 8th October 2021 that has been dedicated to dialogue on environment issues between Ministers of Foreign Affairs from Africa, representatives of International Organization and Civil Society for common approaches on challenges related to energy, climate, environment and sustainable development in Africa. 

During the Ministerial Conference session on 8th October 2021, Hon. Gen. Jeje Odongo participated in a roundtable session on Green Finance 'Sustainable and Green Finance: a road towards a more inclusive future' where he underlined the need for the developed countries fulfil their commitments and pledges during international climate negotiations  to make funding and other resources available to put in place tangible projects and activities to sustainably manage water resources, restore wetlands, conserve and restore degraded forests, and strengthen land management. In order for sources of funding to translate into long term development, Hon. Odongo called for committed actions geared towards industrialization to remove people from the land where 70% of Ugandans are engaged in agriculture and remove people from protected areas of forests and wetlands by providing alternative livelihoods, as well as build and provide clean and affordable energy to reduce destruction of the biomass.

On the side-lines of the Conference, Hon. Gen. Jeje Odongo held meetings with Hon. Ms. Marina Sereni, Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Italy, Mr. QU Dongyu - Director General of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), Mr. Amir Mahmoud Abdulla - Deputy Executive Director of the World Food Programme (WFP), Dr. Annette Weber, EU Special Representative for the Horn of Africa, and a number of Italian companies interested in doing business in Uganda. 
Hon. Gen. Jeje Odongo expressed appreciation to Hon. Ms. Marina Sereni, the Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the Republic of Italy for the successful preparation of the Third Italy-Africa Ministerial Conference and the commitment to strengthen the partnership with African countries. On bilateral ties, he affirmed the good and cordial relations between Uganda and Italy, and extended appreciation to Italian government for the generous support to development programs. Hon. Ms. Marina Sereni reaffirmed Italy's commitment to the cooperation between Uganda and Italy, and lauded Uganda's humanitarian policy on refugees. The Ministers further discussed areas of mutual interest including efforts to contain the COVID-19 pandemic and agreed to broaden the areas of cooperation, including; increasing business to business linkages and tradeable products between the two countries, capacity building/training programs in Italian institutions, and undertaking more investment and tourism business ventures.  It was noted that business fora and business to Government engagement is vital for bringing together business people in both countries to share available business opportunities and conclude many business deals and specific areas of cooperation that will be coordinated through respective Embassies. 
At the meeting with Mr. QU Dongyu, the Director General of Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), Hon. Gen. Jeje Odongo expressed Uganda's support for the structural and programmatic changes effected by the Director General of FAO and indicated that such changes will make FAO more dynamic and fit for purpose to deliver more efficiently for members. Uganda agreed to join the Hand-in- Hand initiative that is aimed at supporting developing countries like Uganda to reap more benefits from FAO.
During the meeting with Mr. Amir Mahmoud Abdulla, the Deputy Executive Director of the World Food Programme (WFP), Hon. Gen. Jeje Odongo appreciated WFP Policy on Local Food procurement and it was agreed that WFP will increase the amount of food procured locally from Uganda. This will create more market for farmers on Uganda especially the small-scale farmers. The meeting also held discussions on the proposal for establishing UN Humanitarian Response Depot in Uganda (INHRD) that will help WFP to pre-position and stockpile relief items and support equipment for swift delivery in emergency situations in Uganda, East Africa and other regions. It will also support WFP Policy on Local Food Procurement by buying, storing and sending emergency supplies on behalf of WFP partners.
Hon. Gen. Jeje Odongo met Dr. Annette Weber, EU Special Representative for the Horn of Africa.  They discussed the developments in the region and ways to support efforts by the region and international partners to resolve the challenges in some of the regional hot-spots.

The Minister also held meetings with several Italian Companies that expressed interest in investing and doing business in Uganda particularly in the areas of animal husbandry, agro-processing, renewable energy among others.
Courtesy of Uganda Embassy Rome, Italy 
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