Richard Nelson tips Ugandan Youth on American Values

By Faith Barbra Namagembe – Updated at 0629 EAT on Tuesday 12th July 2022

KAMPALA- The Head of USAID Mission in Africa Richard Nelson has shared about American values and working with Ugandan people.

Watch video here

Nelson was representing US Ambassador Natalie E Brown at the celebration of American Independence at a US Mission facility in Kampala.

Several young people from Civil societies and academia attended the function.

Watch 2 hour function here

Who is RichardR Nelson?

USAID Boss Richard Nelson with Heal The Planet Global Organisation – HTP President Kivumbi Earnest Benjamin on 04th July 2022

Prior to his assignment as the USAID/Uganda Mission Director, Mr. Nelson served as the Deputy Coordinator for Power Africa. This Pretoria-based assignment involved responsibility for all field level coordination and oversight for Power Africa, including working with senior U.S. Government Mission leadership in more than 20 countries to achieve Power Africa’s goal of doubling access to power in sub-Saharan Africa. It also included almost daily engagement with interagency partners, development partners, and private-sector companies from the U.S. and around the world working in the power sector in Africa. Previously Richard served as the Resident Legal Officer at USAID offices in Pretoria, Bangkok, Baghdad, and Washington, providing support over that period on the full suite of legal issues to numerous USAID Missions.

Before USAID, Richard worked for Dell Inc. as an Emerging Markets Strategist working closely with foreign governments in negotiating investment incentive agreements, advocating corporate interests, and analyzing economic development trends. He also helped manage Dell’s corporate social responsibility efforts in India relating to education sponsorship.

Prior to joining Dell, Richard was a Vice President at Wachovia Securities working on syndicated capital markets debt transactions primarily in the aerospace, defense and healthcare sectors.  Prior to that he was an associate at the law firm of McGuire Woods, where he worked on large credit deals primarily for Bank of America, including the bank’s first Sharia law-compliant credit facility.  Richard also spent a year as an English professor at Qingdao University in China. 

Richard is a graduate of Harvard Law School (J.D.) and Brigham Young University (B.A. English, minor in Russian) and is a member of the North Carolina and Washington, D.C. Bars.


The United States established diplomatic relations with Uganda in 1962, following Uganda’s formal independence from the United Kingdom. In the post-independence period, the country endured despotism and near economic collapse. The human rights abuses of several Ugandan governments have strained U.S. relations with Uganda. 

President Museveni came to power in 1986, after decades of internal strife. Under Museveni, Uganda has experienced relative political stability and economic growth, but also significant human rights, governance, and democracy deficits. Uganda faces other challenges as well, including explosive population growth and power and infrastructure constraints.  

Uganda has been a reliable partner for the United States in promoting stability in the Horn and East/Central Africa and in combatting terror, particularly through its contribution to the African Union Mission in Somalia. 

U.S. Assistance to Uganda 

The United States provides significant health and development assistance to Uganda, with a total assistance budget exceeding $950 million per year. The U.S. government plays a key role in improving health outcomes by strengthening Uganda’s capacity to sustainably address emerging health threats, tuberculosis (TB), malaria, maternal/child health, family planning, and HIV/AIDS (including by providing anti-retroviral treatment for more than 1.2 million Ugandans). US assistance also focuses on boosting economic growth and agricultural productivity, including through improving educational outcomes; and supporting democratic governance through inclusive, accountable institutions. The U.S. mission is working with the government of Uganda to improve tax collection and oil revenue management, and to increase Uganda’s domestic funding for public services and the national response to HIV/AIDS.

Bilateral Economic Relations 

Uganda is eligible for preferential trade benefits under the African Growth and Opportunity Act. U.S. exports to Uganda include machinery, optical and medical instruments, wheat, and aircraft. U.S. imports from Uganda include coffee, cocoa, base metals, and fish. The United States has committed to signing trade and investment framework agreements with the East African Community and with the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa. Uganda is a member of both regional organizations. 

Uganda’s Membership in International Organizations 

Uganda and the United States belong to a number of the same international organizations, including the United Nations, International Monetary Fund, World Bank, and World Trade Organization. 

Bilateral Representation 

Uganda maintains an embassy in the United States at 5911 16th Street NW, Washington, DC 20011

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