Uganda Investment Authority brings you The Diaspora Social Networking Event, December 29th

Uganda Investment Authority brings you The Diaspora Social Networking Event, December 29th

June 24 08:24 2011 Visitors ~ 7,299 views Print This Article

The Diaspora Social Networking Event, December 2011 ~ Foreword by the Executive Director, Uganda Investment Authority, Prof. Maggie Kigozi

Since 2004, the Uganda Investment Authority has organised Diaspora Summits every end of year, which have now been dubbed the “Home is Best” Summit. These Summits allow Ugandans in the Diaspora to actively express ideas on the development of policies and regulatory frameworks that govern the business environment in Uganda. Issues of general policy, regulatory frameworks as well initiatives that the Uganda Government has to put in place to make home the best investment destination are discussed.

The Government of Uganda through the Uganda Investment Authority (UIA) noted that Diaspora investments stand out as a component that needs a lot more attention because of the number of Ugandans in the Diaspora who are actively involved in the development process of the Country directly, through investments and indirectly, through deposits of remittances. According to a Bank of Uganda Report in 2009, the value of remittances from Ugandans in the Diaspora increased to US$ 778 million in 2009 from US$ 732 million in 2008 and projections show that remittances in 2010 amounted to US$980.9 million. Furthermore, according to BOU survey results of 2008 & 2009, remittances from the Diaspora mainly originate from Europe & America, while over 30% of remitters are based in Africa, accounting for 25% of the remittance value in 2009.

Since 1991, UIA has systematically carried out programs that have yielded remarkable results. These programs were designed in line with national strategies like the National Development Plan and the Competitiveness Investment Climate Strategy (CICS). These National strategy plans have recognised the importance of the Diaspora and the role it plays in National development, and as such, UIA’s five-year Strategic Plan focuses on pro-active investment promotion and facilitation as core activities of the UIA, with Diaspora facilitation highly recognised as a key component of these activities.

Since the Government of Uganda launched the annual Diaspora Summits in 2004, we have recorded some significant outcomes from our interactions. One significant example is the Diaspora Desk that was set up in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs with the specific mission of enabling the Uganda Diaspora effective participation in the decision-making processes of the Country. The Diaspora Desk serves as a liaison between various government departments and Ugandans in the Diaspora, indentifies professional Diaspora overseas and registers their skills and areas of specialization with the aim of encouraging them to bring these skills back home, and mobilizes resources from development Partners to facilitate Diaspora Development Programmes in Uganda.

Another significant achievement has been the passing of the Dual Citizenship Law. The law permitting dual nationality in Uganda is now fully operational and came into force in 2009, following amendments to Article 15 of the Constitution of the Republic of Uganda. This amendment was made following the realization that Ugandans in the Diaspora make an enormous contribution to the economic and socio-development of Uganda; the need to enable Ugandans in the Diaspora maintain linkages with their roots without any legal hindrances; the need to attract potential investors and to reap advantages that accrue from the grant of dual citizenship.

Following the last three Summits (2007, 2008, and 2009) it was realised that there was a need to broaden the scope of the Summit activities, as well as encourage greater interaction and networking, beyond the intense two-days summit, in a more relaxed and informal forum.

We are, therefore, very pleased to partner with all our friends in the Diaspora; Ronnie Mayanja, Solomon Jagwe, others in the US, Europe, Southern Africa, Asia, Canada and Australia to celebrate the achievements of our brothers and sisters in the Diaspora who are flying the Uganda flag high up in their various professions.  The Diaspora Social Networking Summit will be the first of its kind in Uganda and we believe it will bring more colour and excitement to our Annual Diaspora Summit. We will recognise, celebrate and reward talent, professionalism, creativity, skill and above all, establish business networks.

I look forward to seeing you all, come December 29 2011, at the beautiful Serena Hotel in Kampala.

Prof. Maggie Kigozi
Uganda Investment Authority

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About Article Author

Ugandan Diaspora Team
Ugandan Diaspora Team

The Uganda Diaspora Network is a forum aimed at bringing together Ugandans who live and work abroad by celebrating their contributions overseas and also encouraging them to give of their time, talents, ideas and expertise whilst inspiring the next generation of Ugandan leaders. Every year the Ugandan Diaspora Network will organize an annual Social Networking Gala and will also produce a quarterly publication highlighting the successes of the various Ugandans residing overseas. Please send us those inspirational stories and philanthropic work involving Ugandans abroad. We shall share these stories using this platform that is rapidly growing and expanding. The Next Diaspora Social Networking Gala will be Held on 30th December 2016 at The Kampala Serena Hotel.

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