First Minister of Wales Carwyn Jones has held an event in Cardiff to celebrate a decade of Wales’ partnership with Africa.
The event brings together people who have given their time, resources and expertise to improve the lives of people in sub-Saharan Africa, as well as people from Africa who have directly benefitted from the programme.
At the event the First Minister will launch a report illustrating the positive impact the Wales for Africa programme has made to thousands of people across Wales and Africa. The report will show:
- 544,000 Ugandan farmers have received training and trees to help shade their crops and protect their homes from storms.
- 72 health projects, including hospitals and doctors surgeries, have been supported saving hundreds of lives and improving the health of thousands of people in Africa.
- 340,000 people benefitted from the small grants programme last year which support projects that improve the situation of people in Africa. For example, Anglesey based company, SaddleAid, which developed a saddle allowing pregnant women and sick people living in remote parts of Ethiopia to be transported safely to hospital by horse.
- 4.2 million trees have been planted, helping to combat climate change.
- 528 development projects have been supported, including Rhondda Cynon Taff based charity PONT, which improves the lives of impoverished people in Uganda. To date, PONT has trained over 1,200 village health workers, provided education for over 100,000 children, supplied 20,000 families with mosquito nets and 2,000 families with goats so they can provide milk for their families and raise money for school fees and vital medical treatment.
The First Minister said:
Over the past 10 years we have seen friendships formed between Wales and Africa, as people work together to improve the lives of people in Africa. Today, let’s celebrate the huge contribution Wales has made during the past 10 years – from saving people’s lives thanks to health care improvements, to providing an education to thousands of children. The Wales for Africa programme has gone from strength to strength. I am very proud of its success and grateful to the thousands of people in Wales who have given their time, resources and expertise over the past ten years.
Apollo Mwenyi, Director of Mbale Coalition Against Poverty in Mbale, Uganda, said:
The Welsh community Mbale link has greatly improved lives in the region. There has been a big reduction in maternal and infant mortality rates, due to community health worker training and the provision of motorbike ambulances which allow people to be taken to hospital in an emergency. We have also seen the academic performance of the partnered schools improve, while the number of children staying in school has risen thanks to money raised from our goats and bee keeping project.