HOME IS THE BEST SUMMIT 2017 – JINJA
Theme: Rethinking Small and Medium Enterprises Financing
UIA is the main organizer and coordinator of the Diaspora conventions in Uganda called “Home is Best Summit” since 2003. During the 2008 Summit in Kampala, stakeholders jointly agreed to make the Summit an annual event during the traditional December home coming season by Ugandans in the Diaspora
Many Diaspora Cultural Associations realized the benefits of the Summit and took up the idea and started organising similar events at regional and cultural levels
In 2013 the focus was more on the cultural organized conventions where UIA, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Bank of Uganda participated in the Busoga Olwekobaano 2013 in Jinja, the International Community of Banyakigezi in Rukingiri and finally the Diaspora Social Networking Gala in Kampala. There however remained the need for a national unifying Diaspora investment forum, hence the revival of the Home is the Best Summits.
The Summits are now organized to take place in different regions of Uganda on a rotational basis. The meetings have therefore been organized in Gulu, Masaka and Kampala in 2014, 2015 and 2016 respectively, with the emphasis being on the appropriation of the Diaspora Remittances to indigenous home welfare and development. This year, the summit is planned to be held in Jinja, according to the UIA Strategic Plan 2016-21
This year’s Summit will be a one day event scheduled for Wednesday 20th December 2017. In this year’s Summit UIA seeks to strengthen the linkages between SMEs in the priority sectors of agro processing, Tourism, ICT and Mineral beneficiation, as well as services, and organized Diaspora funds and investment clubs/groups.
This will provide a platform for the enhancement of SMEs and a viable ‘soft landing’ for Diaspora remittances.
Goods and services available in Uganda
It will also be an opportunity for the Ugandans in the diaspora to engage with the existing service providers and producers of goods that they can take advantage of while still in the Diaspora and when setting up their business.
Uganda Investment Authority, with support from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Bank of Uganda, is the main organizer and coordinator of the Home is the Best Summit 2017- Jinja. Uganda Revenue Authority and Private Sector Foundation Uganda have been brought on board as co organizers due to the consistent need that keeps arising from Ugandans in the Diaspora to know about their tax obligations, incentives, etc and to have a link through which to network with the existing business community for supplies to market in the host countries or joint venture partnerships.
The 2017 Summit is being organized to encourage direct and active involvement of other stakeholders such as; The Busoga Kingdom, Members of Parliament, Local Governments and the Private sector with leading industrialists like BIDCO, Kakira Sugar Works, Nile Agro, among others playing a key role.
As always the Home is Best Summit is organized to coincide with the annual Diaspora Social Networking Gala and Business Breakfast organized by The Uganda Diaspora Network, a forum aimed at bringing together Ugandans who live and work abroad by celebrating their contributions overseas and also encouraging them to give of their time, talents, ideas and expertise whilst inspiring the next generation of Ugandan leaders.
The Summit seeks to mainly reaffirm the Diaspora commitment to participate in the National Development Plans at all levels and evaluate the Diaspora achievements in investments.
Specific objectives include:
- To further strengthen the Uganda Diaspora partnership through investment and trade.
- Get Diaspora’s direct involvement in the re-industrialization of Eastern Uganda in general and Jinja in particular.
- To exploit the expert knowledge the people in the Diaspora have acquired to create jobs in Uganda.
- Strengthen the interaction of Uganda’s Public and Private sector decision-makers at a more localized level with the visiting Diaspora
This year approximately 250 participants expected to attend the Summit. These will include Uganda’s business community, especially those based in Jinja, Ugandans living in the Diaspora, Business development services providers, and investment financiers, among others
The Summit will be a one day programme as outlined below:
- Financial inclusion and the impact Diaspora can have on the development of the economy
- Small and medium investment opportunities
- The regulatory environment, Diaspora engagement and support.
- Business to business networking sessions
- A SME and GoU service delivery exhibition
There will be side events like a Networking cocktail as well as Excursions and Tours around the sights and Sounds of the Jinja area.