UIA sets Special Desk for Diaspora

By David Muwanga

KAMPALA, UGANDA: UIA has established a dedicated Investment Desk for the Diaspora, the Authority’s Acting Director General Lawrence Byensi has revealed.

Annually, UIA organizes The Diaspora Home is Best Summit as one of the major efforts to inform the Ugandan Diaspora about the status of investment in the country and investment opportunities so that they can invest back home. 

The summit culminated into a social networking gala dinner that was held at Kampala Serena Hotel.

Mr. Byensi told the Diaspora that they a constituency that cannot be ignored by government due to their contribution to the country.

He said that according to the World Bank 2018 Report on migration and remittances, Ugandans from the Diaspora globally remitted US$ 1.4 billion in 2017 with a decline to US$ 1.3 billion in 2018.

“But these funds translate to about 5% of Uganda’s gross domestic product US$ 27.9 billion as announced in last financial year’s Budget Speech,”.

“This goes to how important Diaspora remittances are and UIA’s aim is to assist in channeling these into investment that should provide the remitters with high returns for their savings or money sent home,”

He added that it is important to note that most of the money sent from Ugandans in the Diaspora goes directly into the households, thereby improving the population’s welfare and providing for cheaper funds to invest in productive activity.

“Over years since 2004 we have witnessed Diaspora investment in varied sectors including agro processing, real estate development, renewable energy, commercial agriculture and services like education and health,”.

Mr. Byensi explained that it has been a joint effort with a number of stakeholders to promote and facilitate investment and UIA is grateful for the partnerships that have yielded positive results.

He pointed out that together with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, UNDP, Ministry of Internal Affairs, Bank of Uganda, Uganda Revenue Authority and many other stakeholders, UIA has participated in the development of the National Diaspora Policy, development of the Diaspora Bond and the Compendium on Business and Investment Opportunities which was published and disseminated.

The compendium is due for review considering the many other investment opportunities that have come up in new sectors like the oil and gas, fintech and other innovative opportunities.