We would like to thank each and everyone of you that came out to support the celebration of our fellow Ugandans, at the Serena Hotel, on December 29th, during the First Ugandan Diaspora Social Networking Event. You made the event a great success. Thanks to all our Sponsors who supported us financially and in Kind, thank you PIBID/Tooke for a delicious Dinner, and to Orange for their Platinum sponsorship. We appreciate the support and partnership offered by the Uganda Investment Authority and the Diaspora Desk, Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Thanks to all our Entertainers and Fashion Designers, your participation made the event so beautiful. Thank you Stella Atal for the Decorations and Fenon Entertainment for the sound and lighting. We had a wonderful time and we were honored to have you all as our guests. We welcome you to join us again this year for the 2nd Ugandan Diaspora Social Networking Event in December as part of the 6th Home is Best Summit.
In her opening remarks to the attendees, the Ugandan Diaspora Patron Prof. Dr. Maggie Kigozi welcomed the diaspora community to the first Social Networking event. The chief guest at the function was Uganda’s Vice President, His excellence Edward Kiwanuka Sekandi who reiterated the government’s position on the continued support for Diaspora affairs. Other speakers included, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Permanent Secretary, Ambassador James Mugume who informed his audience that in recognition of the Diaspora constituency and it’s value to Uganda, the Ministry had established a one stop center called the Diaspora Unit headed by Ms. Bati Kawooya to cater for the Diaspora needs.
The highlight of the evening was the recognition of the various honorees who have made outstanding achievements in the Diaspora. Among these was Mr. Kwatsi Alibaruho, the first African American to lead a mission into space as NASA’s Flight Director, who was represented by his parents Mr. George and Gloria Alibaruho.
Lady Justice Julia Sebutinde who was recently voted to the International Court of Justice bench becoming the very first African Woman to achieve that position.
Dr. Shaka Ssali, the Managing Editor of Voice of America’s [VOA] English to Africa Service and the host of Straight Talk which airs on WBS Television every Wednesday at 9:30. Captain Lukiah Mulumba, an active member in the US Air Forces was recognized for her contribution and role in helping create awareness of the Sickle Cell disease in Uganda while actively serving in the US Air force.
Though absent, Bishop John Tucker Sentamu, who is the second most powerful clergyman in the Anglican Communion was also honored for his role as leading spiritual leader today.
Dr. Munini Mulera a regular columnist with the Monitor Newspaper got recognised for his contribution in the field of Pediatric Health in Toronto, Canada.
Another Medical doctor who has made a difference in the field of Public Health was Dr. Sarah Matovu in whose house the first UNAA Meeting was held in the State of Georgia.
Mr. Derreck Kayongo one of the top 10 finalists at this year’s 2011 CNN-Heroes was also among the people celebrated and his family was able to recieve his award.
Omega Bugembe Okello an accomplished Musician also got recognised for her contribution in the field of art and music. Rose Nanyonga though absent and doing a PHD at Yale University was recognised for her work in helping start the Nursing School at International Hospital Kampala.
The evening was also full of exceptional entertainment that saw designers like Kironde Katasi, Solome Katongole, Stella Atal and Xenson showcase some of their best fashions for 2012. Among the performers that took to the stage were Qwela Band, Omega Bugembe, Nick Nola, Michael Ross, Cecca Mutumba a reggae artist based in stockholm sweden. US based DJs Bernarzo from Maine and DJD from Maryland were on hand to spin the wheels of steel.
Here are some more photo highlights from the Social Networking event Dinner. We look forward to a great event this year and welcome all of you to join us in Celebrating Uganda’s success stories abroad and at home. Be sure to register to receive a Free copy of the Ugandan Diaspora Magazine featuring many more stories from the Diaspora.