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Amb Walusimbi, UGACOQ discuss improving welfare of Ugandan migrant workers in Qatar

SPA Ambassador Abbey Walusimbi (Centre on the front row), Ambassador Kezaala Muhammad and leaders of the Ugandan Community in Qatar. Photo by SPA/DA Press Unit.

Doha, (QA): As part of his working visit to the Gulf states, the Senior Presidential Advisor on Diaspora Affairs, H.E. Ambassador Hajji Abbey Walusimbi, together with, officials from the Uganda Embassy in Qatar, met with leaders of the Ugandan Community in Qatar (UGACOQ).

The aim of the meeting was to forge ways to negotiate with the host country and improve coordination to secure increased benefits for Ugandans in Qatar while strengthening bilateral partnerships.

In his remarks, Ambassador Walusimbi reassured that H.E. President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni treasures the welfare of his ‘Bazzukulu’, abroad, and has instructed the formation of different Diaspora desks in almost all government institutions, departments and agencies. This, he is doing to ensure his ‘Bazzukulu’ are served more efficiently.

He added that the President is consistently engaging with more of his counterparts to open doors for Ugandans, to seek greener pastures, adding that the Government and the private sector are also working with other countries beyond the Gulf region, to see that more Ugandans access decent jobs, on top of a labour bilateral Agreement, which will next month be signed with Qatar.

Notably, the Ambassador appealed to Ugandans, abroad, to learn from the President, by making friends for the country and becoming salesmen of Uganda, by taking interest in areas where the country needs growth like tourism and agro-processing, among others.

Ambassador Walusimbi (with the mic) addressing leaders of the Ugandan Community in Qatar. Photo by SPA/DA Press Unit.

As part of the follow-up process regarding challenges facing Ugandans in Qatar, Walusimbi also revealed that he engaged with different officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Internal Affairs and NIRA.

“We know for a fact that everything is being done to address issues of your passports and National IDs, among other challenges. There is an ongoing project to deploy more workers at the different Ugandan missions abroad, to help clear any backlogs in document processing.”

He also applauded the Mission staff for representing Uganda’s interests in Qatar, and the Ugandan Community in Qatar for being united and well-organized, adding that groups make it easier for the government to work on challenges facing Ugandan migrant workers.

The Deputy Ambassador of the Uganda Embassy in Qatar, H.E. Kezaala Muhammad, welcomed Ambassador Walusimbi and his team. He expressed gratitude for the quick organization of the meeting, guiding that UGACOQ leaders should involve all members in similar discussions, in the near future.

Amb. Kezaala shared his observations during his 18 months in Qatar, highlighting the challenge of understanding the local culture, and the commendable work ethic of Ugandans in Qatar.

He also discussed initiatives to help the community members on financial matters, creating small ventures, and providing para-legal support.

Kezaala mentioned that the Embassy has an outreach program, intending to recruit more staff, acknowledging that UGACOQ had requested for a desk at the Embassy, to offer para-legal services, adding that the concern is being handled.

The Chairperson of the Ugandan Community in Qatar (UGACOQ), Mr. Aliguma Saul Rayan, emphasized the importance of addressing various issues affecting the members.

He called for the need to support new arrivals in Qatar, by providing assistance and guidance, including practical advice, sharing information about resources, and offering a sense of belonging.

Mr Aliguma said there is a need for setting up support networks for vulnerable community members to cater for social, health, and financial needs.

He encouraged community members to work hand in hand, to implement the discussed initiatives, and to improve the general welfare of Ugandans in Qatar.

Generally, UGACOQ leaders highlighted the importance of unity and dialogue within the community, suggesting possible areas where they benefit from support from the Embassy.

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