Ugandans living in the various parts of the world convened in Kampala for a Dialogue on Diaspora Resource Mobilization and Utilization. The Dialogue organised by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in collaboration with United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Bank of Uganda (BoU) and Uganda Investment Authority (UIA) focused on the theme, 'harnessing Diaspora participation and contribution to Uganda's transformational agenda.'
This is part of efforts to encourage Ugandans in the Diaspora to embrace and take part in Uganda's development journey by investing back home and contributing to the country's transformational agenda, towards achieving middle income status come 2040.
Members of the diaspora are already contributing to the country's overall economic growth through their annual remittances which according to BoU statistics stood at USD 850m at the end of 2014.
"Government recognizes the paramount role played by the Diaspora towards the country's development and is committed to support them in all possible ways. Already, BoU has completed a feasibility study to establish a Diaspora bond, once established, it will provide a safe and secure investment gateway for members of the Diaspora," the Minister of State for International Affairs, Hon. Okello Oryem noted while explaining why the Ministry is organizing the event.
Apart from the Diaspora bond, the Minister added that UIA compiled a compendium of Investment and business opportunities which highlights business ideas from various sectors which can be started with as little as 2000 USD or more. While various bills that will help members of the diaspora such as the draft National Diaspora Policy are awaiting cabinet approval.
"We all need to prioritize the Diaspora as a key part of the Ugandan demographic which is vital for development resource mobilization. It's therefore important to incentivise it through recognizing their role in the development process by establishing platforms that will enable their participation and promote knowledge sharing." Ms. Almaz Gebru, Country Director, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), which supported the organisation of the dialogue said.
On September 25th, 2015, Uganda was one of the countries that adopted the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which are intended to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure prosperity for over the next 15 years. For these goals to be reached, everyone needs to do their part, and the Diaspora is no exception on this