Africa and the Italian Trentino region are not so far from each other after all. This is confirmed by the mission by the Autonomous Province of Trento, headed by Sara Ferrari, the councillor for development cooperation, in Uganda on Sunday, giving way to a number of institutional visits and meetings. The mission will focus on the development cooperation projects promoted by ACAV and Euregio and also on the investment opportunities for Trentino-based companies and will travel to Uganda and South Sudan, two neighbouring but widely differing countries. Uganda and South Sudan mirror an African continent that, on the one hand, tries to play its development trump-card in an increasingly globalised world and, on the other hand, is still busy healing the wounds produced by wars, the worst of which is the refugee phenomenon. The mission’s first stop is in Kampala, where the agenda includes several institutional meetings with the Ambassador of Italy and of the EU, some ministers of the Ugandan Government (of the Interior, Foreign Affairs, Agriculture and Education), representatives of the local economic community and a visit to the “Scuola di Pace” diocesan missionary centre and to the Reception Home (health care sector) founded by Father Angelo. The Italian delegation will then go to the West Nile region in northern Uganda, one of the Country’s less developed areas. During the visit, mission members and local administrators will discuss the possible developments from a cooperation between different players: the Province, ACAV, the Ugandan Government and the European Union, and the priorities on which to take immediate action to start off a collaboration (governance, agricultural production, vocational training and the like).
Mission of the Autonomous Province of Trento
On the mission’s agenda is also a visit to the agricultural vocational school opened in 2010 in Jabar, near Koboko, where it intends to present curricula for food security, enhancing agricultural production and promoting income-generating agricultural activities. The delegation will subsequently travel by land to Morobo, in South Sudan, a region that among other things also hosts thousands of refugees from the neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo, where they will visit an agricultural school and meet with the local authorities. Here too, the Trentino region’s cooperation intervention which began three years ago, is now configuring as a model to follow. Lastly, after the delegation’s return to the capital of Uganda, the mission will make a last stop in Masaka, in the south of Uganda, where Euregi is developing an articulate intervention programme. The philosophy underlying the Trentino province’s projects is to work in close collaboration with central and local administrations. The aim of offering technical support and adequate training is to facilitate capacity, competence and resource-building, which is necessary to autonomously launch social and economic development policies. The latest projects implemented by ACAV in Uganda include pilot initiatives of interest to international agencies and to the Ugandan Government. Small organisations like ACAV, which is deeply rooted at local level, can develop effective plans involving businesses, United Nations Agencies (such as UNHCR, the High Commissioner for Refugees), Italian and EU cooperation agencies and other NGOs. The main intervention sectors in Uganda and South Sudan (and also in the neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo) are agriculture and cattle breeding, vocational training, water (well digging) and health (with the establishment/support of health districts) and upholding good governance.