The new French Ambassador to Uganda, Mr Armand Aniambassou, has flagged increasing presence and diversity of investment by French companies in Uganda as a priority for his tour of duty in order “to provide a sustainable training force for employment”.
Ambassador Aniambassou, speaking on Monday night at the commemoration of the 230th anniversary of the Storming of Bastille Prisons in Paris, said Uganda “needs all levels of businesses, from large corporations to small and medium-sized enterprises.”
“I have also identified the sectors in which I want to further develop our ties; agriculture and sustainable development, the promotion of youth and women,” Ambassador Aniambassou said.
The Storming of Bastille, a medieval fortress and prison in Paris which represented the despotic monarch, on July 14, was one of the key highlights of the French Revolution that inspired several uprisings across Europe against feudal and corrupt monarchies.
Ambassador Aniambassou replaces former Stephanie Rivoal who completed her diplomatic tour of duty in March, about three months short, and was designated as the secretary general of next year’s Africa-France Summit. The new envoy described Uganda as “one of the strategic epicentres of the region in terms of business, the economy, security and humanitarian issues”.
Trade between Uganda and France stood at €61m (Shs252b) as of last year. The two countries maintain cooperation in areas of defence and security, mainly through capacity building of the Uganda People’s Defence Forces and support to the African Union Mission in Somalia (Amisom).
Also on agenda on Mr Aniambassou’s diplomatic in-tray is “working hand-in-hand with the Ugandan authorities and all Ugandans, whilest listening to key pillars of civil society, on the basis of deep mutual recognition and understanding”.
“To that end, I will support the local initiatives and count on the extraordinary talent which already exists in all Ugandan territories,” he said.
The chief guest, Ms Mary Karooro Okurut, the General Duties minister in the Office of the Prime Minister, who represented the Prime Minister, Dr Ruhakana Rugunda, extolled the “warm” Uganda-French bilateral relations and urged Ambassador Aniambassou to invite more French entrepreneurs to do business in Uganda in the footsteps of companies such as Total E&P, Lafarge, and others.
May 18, 1962: Mr Armand Aniambossou is born in Cotonou, Benin.
1989: He earns his degree from the Douai École des Mines Engineering School.
1992 - 1999: Industry and Mining Engineer at the Regional Department for Industry, Research and Environment in France’s Centre Region.
2000 - 2001: Industry Ministry’s Department for Regional Action and Small and Medium-sized Enterprise.
2004 - 2006: Interior Ministry’s Department of Public Freedoms and Legal Action as Civil Administrator and later as Sub-Prefect and Deputy Secretary-General of the Nord Region.
2006 - 2007: Chief of Staff to the Prefect of the Marne Department from.
2007 - 2011: Secretary-General of the Poweo group, an energy supplier, and to Africasol, an African group building concentrated solar power plants.
From 2011 to 2013, he advised the Chairman of Stratom, the leading accommodation and hospitality group in overseas France, and served as Board Member and Head of Institutional Relations at EOLE-RES, British renewable energy specialist RES Group’s French subsidiary. H.E. Mr Jules-Armand Aniambossou was appointed Benin Ambassador to France on 15 March 2013, and is accredited in Spain, Albania, Greece, Portugal, Serbia, the United Kingdom, Turkey and Cyprus, and in the OECD, OAMCAF, OIE, HF and OIF (Paris), IMO and ICO (London), and WTO (Madrid).