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President Museveni calls for Diaspora involvement in Uganda’s economic growth


President Museveni calls for Diaspora involvement in Uganda’s economic growth

In a virtual meeting held at State Lodge-Nakasero on Sunday, August 13th, 2023, President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, while closing the second annual edition of the 2023 Canada National Resistance Movement (NRM) Chapter Symposium, urged the Ugandan Diaspora to seize available opportunities and invest in Uganda. The symposium, running under the theme “Dialogue, Unity, and a Prosperous Diaspora,” took place in Toronto, Canada.

President Museveni noted the importance of diaspora participation in investment, stating, “It would be good if you also participate by bringing either foreign friends to invest with us or even you if you can collect your small money and add it up and put it into some of these enterprises. By combining savings, we can do more work.”

He further informed Ugandans living in Canada about the government’s focus on fostering a knowledge-based economy and mentioned initiatives such as the Kiira electric vehicle and Kayoola electric mini-bus, both products of Ugandan innovation and technology.

The President invited Canadian investors and the diaspora to co-invest, stating, “If we can get investors from Canada and you people as well, with the money that you have, you can co-invest and much of this work would move faster.”

President Museveni also reiterated the significance of value addition to Ugandan products, particularly in sectors like coffee production. He pointed out that by adding value, the economic returns and job creation potential increase substantially. He urged the diaspora to connect with groups in Canada that could assist in enhancing the value of Ugandan products.

He mentioned that between the 1950 and 1970, Uganda used to import maize products from Kenya saying that there was no maize flour within the country.

“But now Uganda went from producing 500,000 tons a year, we are now producing more than 5 million tons of maize a year, and therefore maize became a cash crop. It was no longer just a food crop; it now became both a food and cash crop. Our bananas are now a big cash crop as well,” he said.

In addition to promoting investment, President Museveni acknowledged the efforts of Ugandan scientists in various fields, from space science to medicine, emphasizing the government’s support for local innovations and industries.

The President closed by expressing his vision for a fully monetized economy and emphasized the importance of reducing reliance on subsistence practices. He detailed the government’s efforts to increase participation in the money economy and highlighted the Parish Development Model as a significant step toward achieving this goal.

President Museveni also noted that Uganda is now one of the biggest producers of milk and its products in Africa saying that the country came from producing 200 million liters in 1986 and currently producing 5.4 billion liters of milk for both internal use and export.

“Therefore, minimum recovery, expansion and diversification; but then also adding value have been our achievements.”

The President explained that the reason why he banned the export of unprocessed raw materials is because he wants to promote value addition.

“But also, for other products like cotton, instead of exporting cotton, we export textiles. The shirt I am putting on here is a Ugandan-made shirt from cotton to cloth. So, processing milk products, timber products, beef products, leather among others, is one of the struggles we have been engaged in,” he informed the gathering.

The symposium, attended by several Ugandans in Canada, received praise from the 3rd Deputy Prime Minister, Rt Hon. Rukia Isanga Nakadama, who commended President Museveni’s leadership and dedication to the NRM party.

“Thank you all for your contribution in this symposium, your participation has made this event highly engaging, informative and interactive. I also want to thank our NRM brothers and sisters living in Canada for raising the NRM flag high. This huge number has proved that the party is not only loved in Uganda but is also loved across the globe,” she said.

The event saw the participation of prominent dignitaries, including Hon. Babirye Milly Babalanda and Her Excellency, Ruth Acheng, Uganda’s Ambassador to Canada.

Sarah K. Biryomumaisho is a Multimedia journalist (Broadcast & Writing) with 11 years of experience. She holds a Diploma in Business Administration from Makerere Business Institute and a Certificate in Media Management from Women in News. She completed a Course in Wikimedia in 2020, making her one of the very few Wikipedia Editors in the country. She also has a certificate in Gender Justice Reporting from The International Women's Media Foundation, IWMF. She has worked with a number of media houses including 6 Radio stations, most recently Galaxy fm 100.2 & Radio 4. She has worked with Andariya Magazine as a writer. Sarah worked as a Digital Communications consultant for the newly revived Uganda Airlines and is also a Digital enthusiast. She owns a Media Organization called TheUgPost that publishes in Uganda and has a global reach. Twitter;

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