After close to three years of service in Uganda as the Ambassador of France, Stephanie Rivoal’s mission has come to an end as she embarks on another role – Secretary General of the France – African Summit.
She will be based in France where the 2020 (maiden) Summit is to be held under the themed ‘Sustainable Cities’.
On Friday, diplomats, consular, officials in the government of Uganda as well as friends converged at the Nakasero residence of the French Ambassador to officially bid farewell to Ambassador Stephanie Rivoal.
Rivoal, previously a banker was appointed to Uganda in 2016 on her maiden ambassadorial posting. She had also done humanitarian work with Action Against Hunger. For the last almost three years, Rivoal has made efforts to strengthen the relations between Uganda and France especially by increasing the visibility of French traditions and culture here in Uganda.
While there are several impressions that her service has created, it is perhaps her outgoing, lively and flexible personality that will be hard to forget. She was also a champion of womens’ rights and explored numerous aspects of entertainment to further the France – Uganda bond.
She recounted the remarkable encounters in Uganda which she said “are forever engraved in my heart”. She cited some of these encounters. The wildlife, the initiatives to support women, the Uganda-France Friendship Week and the quarterly visit to Singo where she supervised the joint training of UPDF soldiers by the French military.
“It’s a very emotional moment that I’m leaving this beautiful country. I will have fond memories of the people, the beauty, the wildlife but in going back to France and I will promote Uganda back home.”
Asked what she prides in the most during her time as the French envoy, she pointed out the Women for Women, an initiative she together with other female foreign diplomats introduced to support the empowerment of women.
The Uganda-France Friendship week, another brainchild of Ambassador Rivoal has become a popular annual week characterized by a series of events that celebrate the entertainment, lifestyle, fashion, cuisine, sport of both countries.
Maj Gen Frank Mugambage, the Rwandan Ambassador to Uganda who spoke on behalf of the diplomatic corps described Rivoal as “a most beloved colleague”.
“For some of us who have had very close collaboration with Ambassador Rivoal, she has been extremely energetic, collaborative and friendly,” Gen Mugambage said.
He however added that her new role will bring Rivoal even closer to Uganda and other African countries. He later handed a plague shaped in the map of Uganda symbolizing a token of appreciation from the diplomats currently serving in Uganda.