Community, Diaspora and Immigration
Hon Okello Oryem, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs
Transcript from his speech at the 1st Ugandan UK Convention
Ho. Okello started outright by alleviating any fears that the he and his colleague Ministers were attending the convention for politics. “We are here for a win-win situation. There is nothing on the agenda to achieve any political goals at all”. He was encouraged to see Ugandans uniting for the common purpose of contributing to the development of their nation and regions.
Hon. Okello urged Ugandans to harness the enormous potentials of the oil discovery in the country and went on to enumerate various programs that were being developed between Uganda and the Diaspora. He named the successful approval and full implementation of dual citizenship for Ugandans, whom he was encouraging to apply. He also mentioned a new project between the Foreign Affairs Ministry and the UNDP that is engaging dialogue between government and the Diaspora to develop strong exchange of information, especially on investment opportunities, such as in the financial markets and estate business. The establishment of a Diaspora bond issued by the government of Uganda will facilitate Diaspora investment in Uganda once the consultancy arrangements are finalized. The Bank of Uganda will welcome the views of the Diaspora on this matter.
He said that investment profiles will be developed in target sectors for medium and small enterprise. The government has also embarked on a program for the development of roads, railway, education, health service and energy. Consultancy is particularly sought from the Diaspora in the infrastructure sector. He further encouraged attendants to make comments on the service delivery of any initiative and urged them to make proposals to the government on issues which they deem are necessary and applicable to Ugandans in the Diaspora.
He concluded by saying that the return on investment in Uganda is positive, inviting the Diaspora to come on board and invest back home now. And since internet banking facilities in Uganda do not require the physical presence of investors, it is very easy to invest in stocks, bonds and shares.