Resolution from the 2nd convention

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Issues that delegates at the Ugandan UK Convention agreed on in 2012

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Resolution from the 2nd convention

  1. 1. Feedback from delegates and action points from the deliberations: 1. To establish a fast track desk at Entebbe Airport for Ugandans from the Diaspora who apparently encounter a lot of hostilities from immigration officers. Rt. Hon. Kadaga pledged to inform the government that it has not done the necessary to enable those in the Diaspora to “land softly” when they return home. 2. Agriculture sector: Hon. Tress Bucyanayandi, Minister of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries is asked to serialise opportunities in the agriculture sector and update them regularly on their website. Also skills and career gaps in the sector to enable skills and knowledge transfer from the Diaspora. a. Delegates particularly wanted to know how possible to access NAADS financial support, partnership and requests a dedicated page on NAADS website dedicated to Diaspora investors 3. Trade and Business representative: Nominate a Diaspora representative at the Presidential Investors Round Table (PIRT) 4. Parliament: The speaker promised to create a small desk in the foreign affairs committee to deal with the diaspora specifically in parliament to represent and advocate for policies affecting Diasporas 5. Investment Inventory: Regularly publish development and opportunities available in Uganda particularly for Diaspora SME's as a way of promoting incentives for Diasporas to invest back home a. Diaspora investments are likely to be an economic decision, generated by selfinterest and driven by profit motives, even though a philanthropic element and investments in social projects might also be present. More emphasis needs to be put on Diaspora investment and encouraging them in tapping into the available opportunities, this will promote more FDI. b. Have a classification system for the most pressing investment opportunities for the Diaspora and investment opportunities with the highest ROI but needing minimal capital investment that Diasporans can afford. c. Formulate a new category and classification of Diaspora investor and reduce the threshold of capital needed to qualify. This is due to the fact that Ugandans in the Diaspora do not have the required capital to qualify as full investors and yet need to tap into the incentives given to other investors. d. Establishing, as an incentive, a Fund to provide grants, loans, technical assistance and support to individual Diasporans, networks, and communities for Diaspora-led development projects to be implemented in Uganda. e. Establish a Diaspora bond with high interest rate as way of incentivise and of tapping into Diasporas who are not interested to return but can invest in non-commodity market f. Like The Philippines which launched two governmental programmes: LINKAPIL that channels diasporas’ finances towards education, health care projects and micro projects. An identification card is issued to its Diasporas that serves as a visa card
  2. 2. and enables remittance transfers at less than GBP 1.65 per transaction (Newland, 2004). The government can also work with a financial institution to come up with a card that can attract lower transaction rates as a way to attract more remittance. The card be accepted by the participating institutions for redemption. g. Allow Diasporas with companies in the west to bid for tenders to promote competitive and non-discriminatory to all potential providers. i. Mr. Sebaggala M. Kigozi, Executive Director – Uganda Manufacturing Association (UMA) should list feasible investment in micro manufacturing projects to enable Diasporans with minimal capital to exploit. 6. Dual Citizenship: Delegates unanimously agreed to lobby to waive the dual citizenship fee and argued the Rt. Hon. Rebecca Kadaga to lobby the parliament in appreciation of the contribution by Diasporas to our economy which we cannot take for granted, said Hon. Kadaga. Ugandans in the Diaspora feel that it is not in order to buy or naturalise as Ugandan since it is a birth right. Under the current constitution which is the 1995 constitution it confirms that; every person born in Uganda to one of the parents or grandparents is or was a member of any of the indigenous communities existing and residing within the borders of Uganda as at the first day of February, 1926, and set out in the Third Schedule to this Constitution; and every person born in or outside Uganda one of whose parents or grandparents was at the time of birth of that person a citizen of Uganda by birth. Therefore having a British Passport foes not take away the right. a. The right to vote; to offer diasporas access to the home country’s political decisions and to have their specific interests represented. 7. Land and property rights: According to Mr. Alenyo Marshall's (Senior immigration officer) presentation that Ugandans who have not taken out dual citizenship certificate don't have a right to own land under the mailoland and freehold arrangement. Thus, Diasporas who have lost their citizenship or their spouse who are not Ugandans should have the right to buy land and property under freehold. (In Uganda, only citizens have land ownership rights. The 1995 Constitution does not allow foreigners to own land freehold. They may, however, obtain leases for 49 or 99 years.) Dr. Nkonge: Due to bad experiences and Diasporas follow prey to land conmen, Dr. Sarah Nkonge is requested to facilitate an establishment of a Diaspora land desk to deal with issues arising from land disputes and challenges from Ugandans in the Diaspora. a) A desk in the lands or presidential official dedicated to Diaspora land issues needs to be established to ease on the many problems and mitigate risk of Diaspora losing their land to unscrupulous people. By doing this it promote more investment from Diaspora in infrastructure and asset investment b) Ambassador Agnes Kalibbala, Director for Housing - Ministry of Lands and Housing was asked to initiate a scheme which explores opportunities in her Ministry and dedicate a page for Diasporas.
  3. 3. 8. A concern was raise to involve a consultant from the Diaspora at the early stage of Diaspora Bonds plans. This will iron out drop-backs that can jeopardise its success and avail comprehensive information about the scheme. Avail contact details of relevant department and personnel in Uganda for interested Diaspora members, either to enquire about the scheme or share their views on it. 9. Diaspora Human capital: Brain drain and diasporic human capital are of concern not only in quantitative but also qualitative terms. The government should setup an incentive for all government organizations to give priority of job vacancies to Diasporas as a way to encourage knowledge and skill transfer back home to mitigate the brain drain gap which leaves gaps in the higher segments of the local labour market that cause shortages in sectors most important to the country’s socio-economic advancement. Make available a comprehensive list of opportunities such as the program that Diaspora department in partnership with World Bank is spearheading to professionalise some sectors such as roads and railways and need to recruit from the Diaspora. 10. Youth inclusion: Promote youth exchange programs to raise awareness of issues facing Ugandan youth and how the UK youth can assist their Ugandan counterparts or learn from one another especially on good values derived from both cultural. Youth and Business: Uganda recently established a youth venture capital fund; youth whose parents have dual-citizenship should have its youth access the venture capital fund in Uganda. This will boost Diaspora youth participation in the development and also become an incentive for them to look at Uganda for opportunities. Acculturate: The government to support initiatives that acculturate nationalistic attitude to Ugandan Diasporans youth so that they feel attached to Uganda. This will position the generation to view Uganda as a mother country, rather, ‘a country somewhere over there’ that Mum and Dad keep on talking about”, as Hon Maria Kiwanuka so aptly quoted. 11. Diaspora tourism: Mr. Seguya is asked to establish Diaspora permits with concessions to encourage Diaspora tourism.

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