The Promota Magazine

Let us change! – Publisher’s letter

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“There are no secrets to success.
It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure.”
Colin Powell


During a recent visit to Uganda, I took a delegation of investors interested in agricultural projects. Whilst touring a farm, I noticed how much food stuff had spoilt on site, instead of finding its way to a market. This impressed on me yet again, how crucial it is that producers find ways to add value to their produce. This is immensely necessary to avoid wastage, to increase the farmers’ direct profit by increasing their sales, and also ensure that food stuff remains available during periods of shortages. This added value could be in the way of preserving, processing or packaging produces, but it should be an integral part of a producer’s activity. No one would go hungry in Uganda, and probably a large portion of the food aid that the country receives could be cut back if we systematically ensured that we add value to our own production.

I found that Kampala had changed yet again, for the better. Life in the city seems to be more orderly and visible developments are springing up everywhere. But a few miles outside of town, lower standards of living are as always very apparent. Even though people love to cast blame somewhere for their misfortune, I strongly feel that ultimately, the catalyst for change and betterment rests firmly in each individual’s hands. We absolutely must take the decision to improve our own life, and the ‘how to’ will follow naturally, once we start the search. Without this decision to take the first step, no one can really pull us out of poverty, for as soon as the helping hand goes away, so do we go back down. Aid is ok as a temporary measure, but each one of us must in the end want to be the lasting change in our own lives.

Following on this need to change our mind set of ‘aid is ok’, to ‘let us change ourselves’, we should also look at the way Uganda has become determined to castigate a certain portion of his population labelled ‘gay’. We should bear in mind very strongly, that what ‘we persist, resists’! Hence, gays will not disappear from Uganda, simply because a new law is being passed. Moreover, Uganda’s international image will suffer through it, by investments being withheld or cancelled, and the end beneficiary i.e. the poorest, remaining in their misery. I just urge Ugandans to be torelant and love them instead.

And of course, corruption is never far of anyone’s thoughts when one is considering investing in Africa. I was struck by how Janet Museveni, in her book My Life’s Journey, adamantly refused to make the customary gifts to anyone during her first political campaign. She was ready to lose her chance to become minister, because her integrity was even more important to her. And her resolve did win her that seat. Corruption can be found at all levels of society, and however much it is deplored and forbidden, it will never come to an end if stringent measures are not put in place to prevent and/or punish the deeds. Anyone in the public eye or in public office, indulging in corruption, is responsible for the negative press and the negative repercussions felt at all levels of society. Even teachers, LC leaders or heads of families all set a very bad example in the minds of their community when indulging in corruption. This shows that the problem must be tackled at all levels, all at once. It is very feasible if the will to win the battle is unshakable. Rwanda showed us it can be done. Uganda should not wait to start its own anti-corruption program, from the family unit to the highest political office.

In this issue (page 2-3), I am pleased to share how a member of the Diaspora has invested  in the medical welfare of our people back home, a prime example of how we can all make a difference in our own field of expertise.

I hope that Obama being voted  for a second term in office will inspire us all to persevere in the pursuit of our dreams. It can all come true in the end, if we do not give up along the way. The same goes for Tyler Perry, who did not have an easy start but his dedication to his vision paid off in the end as well.

Lastly, I would like to wish you all, trusted readers, a most prosperous New Year. May 2013 be truly the year of your change, the year  your dreams come true.

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