Overview of German-Ugandan sports cooperation
International sports promotion has been part of Germany’s cultural relations and education activities abroad since 1961. In this period more than 1400 short‑ and long-term projects in many different sports have been carried out in over 100 countries. Apart from training specific sporting skills, one of the main aims is to encourage teamwork, mutual respect, tolerance and fairness - skills that are essential for peaceful coexistence.
The sports promotion projects and activities are multifarious. They contribute to international understanding by encouraging intercultural dialogue, strengthening minorities and seeking to prevent prejudices. “On The Move – Overcoming Borders”, the motto of the Federal Foreign Office’s sports initiative, is intended to demonstrate that the Federal Republic of Germany stands for all the positive values people can experience together when playing sports: joie de vivre, open-mindedness and fairness.
Germany and Uganda have a longstanding cooperation in the field of sports. Germany has been supporting Ugandan sports actively for more than four decades with 2 long term and over 30 short term projects as well as numerous donations of sport material and equipment for local sport clubs and over 50 schools.
In close cooperation with the German Football Association (DFB), the German Athletics Federation (DLV) and the German Olympic Sports Confederation (DOSB), the Federal Foreign Office seconds German sports experts to carry out training courses and hold training sessions. From 2009 until mid of 2013, Mr. Günter Lange, who was seconded to the Ministry of Education and Sports (MoES) as a German Sports Development Expert, assisted in capacity building at grass root level (schools, universities) as well as supported Uganda’s top athletes.
Since the 1980s, the Federal Foreign Office, in cooperation with the Universities in Leipzig and Mainz, invite sports coaches to attend certified training courses in Germany. The programme aims at skills enhancement for Ugandan multipliers and in total, more than 25 scholarships have been granted so far.
Germany further provides equipment needed to improve the working conditions for athletes and coaches. One of various donations made was an electronic time measurement system worth 62 Million Uganda Shillings that was handed over to the Uganda Athletic Federation (UAF) in 2011. As new rules call for all sprints qualifications to be recorded by electronic timers only and all jumping events / sprinting performance have to be wind-controlled, Ugandan athletes so far had to travel outside the country to access the required equipment. Now the electronic timing and the wind measurement can be used at all national trials, allowing Ugandan athletes to qualify for international events from within the country or setting nationally or internationally recognized records on their home turf.
In the following year, 3 sophisticated time measurement systems in support of the Primary Schools National Athletics Championships in Uganda were donated to the Minstry of Education and Sports. The equipment provides technical support to measure the running speed of U12 and U14 children during the yearly National School Championships for Primary Schools.
To continue and deepen this fruitful partnership and to improve the organizational capacity of Ugandan sports, high-ranking officials within the field of sports participated in a study tour to Germany in 2013 which was funded by the German Federal Foreign Office. The delegation visited on-site sport structures and gathered information that will assist the national sports associations in creating modern sports structures.