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Museveni woos Ugandans in Diaspora to invest back home, focus on Value addition

Attendees of the 2nd Canada NRM Chapter Symposium.

President Yoweri Museveni has urged the Ugandans living in the diaspora to utilize the available opportunities and invest back home whilst focusing on Value addition projects that can develop the country.

H.E. Museveni made the call while closing the 2nd annual edition of the Canada NRM Chapter Symposium in a virtual meeting held at State Lodge- Nakasero on Sunday, 13th August 2023.

The two -day symposium which took place in Toronto, Canada, ran under the theme: “Dialogue, Unity and a Prosperous Diaspora”.

“It would be good if you also participate by bringing either foreign friends to invest with us or even you yourself 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,” the President urged.

Mr Museveni who is also the NRM National Chairman told the Ugandans living in Canada that his government is currently focused on supporting and executing the knowledge-based economy, explaining that with investment sustained, the country will achieve more. 

“Our people are highly educated and qualified, they have got a lot of knowledge but of course, lack money. The government has been supporting them to start innovations like electric vehicles, you have heard of the Kiira electric vehicle, this is a car named after the Nile, we have got Kayoola, the electric mini-bus made by our scientists,” Museveni said.

“These are already moving on the roads, and we are supporting them. By the end of this year, we shall be rolling out more electric buses for now. 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,” he added.

President Museveni also highlighted that with the electric vehicles in place, the government is now aiming at making the electric batteries from the available lithium to be able to support the electric car’s function, adding that electric motorcycles are also being made.

“Then we have the pathogenic economy, this is the economy from the diseases. The big problem of Africa is that we have been getting diseases, but foreigners have been making money from our diseases, they make vaccines, we buy them, they make therapeutics, they make diagnostics, equipment for medical use,” he cited.  

L-R: Ambassador Abbey Walusimbi, Hon. Milly Babalanda, Rt. Hon. Rukia Nakadama, & Hon. Judith Nabakooba during the opening ceremony of the 2nd Canada NRM Chapter Symposium.

However, on a good note, President Museveni said that Ugandan scientists have started making the vaccines and drugs within and the government is supporting them.

“We have already started with some of the factories like Quality Chemicals which has been making ARVs for AIDS and Anti-malarial drugs and so on. Therefore, this is one of our priority areas, the knowledge economy based on human knowledge,” President Museveni noted.

“Our people are involved in space science, we are going to launch our own satellite, in fact our young people have already launched one satellite for experiment, but we are going to make a bigger and more reliable satellite. All these scientists that I am talking about, it is the government that is giving them the money, but it would be good if each of the citizens were to provide small.  I want you to know that your country is moving forward and that we have worked with our brothers here to form the African common market to buy our products,” he further assured the audience.

The president also assured the audience that Uganda is moving forward, through working with sister nations and people of African descent to form a bigger African common market for products, and appealed to the Ugandan Diaspora, to foster value addition for Ugandan products. 

“If you know some groups in Canada that can help us to add value, they are most welcome. We are producing a lot of coffee now at 8 million bags, but we are getting only about $ 845 million from that big crop.”

A section of attendees with Presidency Minister Milly Babalanda (2nd R) at the 2nd Canada NRM Chapter Symposium in Toronto, Canada.

The 3rd Deputy Prime Minister, Rt Hon. Rukia Isanga Nakadama, hailed President Museveni for his dedication towards the NRM party and his exemplary leadership, which enabled the symposium to take place.

The symposium which attracted many Ugandans living in Canada was also attended by high-profile government officials including; Uganda’s High Commissioner to Canada, Ambassador Joy Ruth Acheng Presidency Minister, Hon. Milly Babalanda, Lands Minister, Hon. Judith Nabakooba, Presidency Minister, NRM Deputy Secretary General, Rt. Hon. Rose Namayanja, Members of Parliament, Senior Presidential Advisor on Diaspora Affairs, Ambassador Hajji Abbey Walusimbi.

Others were; the NRM Director for Administration and Finance, Hajat Medina Naham, the NRM party Spokesperson, Rogers Mulindwa, the Senior Presidential Advisor for Political Affairs, Moses Byaruhanga & Presidential Aide, Sandra Ndyomugyenyi.

Officials from Foreign & Internal Affairs & Education Ministries, Presidential Advisors and Assistants, including Hon. Mutyabule Florence, and Uganda Hotel Owners Association, Susan Muhwezi, among others also attended the event. 

The Canada NRM Chapter Chairperson, Mr Fred Kinene, and his Deputy, Mr Sam Kaggwe expressed gratitude to the President & Government of Uganda for the support, and the Ugandan community in Canada for having turned up in big numbers.

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