The Minister for Presidency, Hon. Babirye Milly Babalanda has appealed to Ugandans living in Canada and other parts of the world to partner with the government of Uganda to steer development.
Hon. Babalanda made the call today while delivering her remarks during the Second Canada NRM Chapter Symposium 2023 held at Woodbine Banquet and Convention Hotel and Suites, in Toronto, Canada.
“I call upon Ugandans living in Canada to partner with the government and contribute. We welcome positive criticism and ideas that will improve our performance and promote partnerships for our country’s development,” the Minister said.
On behalf of the government of Uganda, Hon. Babalanda also encouraged Ugandans in the Diaspora to invest back home in areas of agriculture, industry, tourism, ICT and the services industry such as hotel and leisure.
“You are called upon to invite serious investors to invest in Uganda. I can authoritatively confirm that there will be a good return on your investments because Uganda is safe and secure and is steadily progressing. Our Offices are open to all Ugandans with constructive ideas on how we could jointly partner in the goal of enhancing the economic growth and development of our country. The Ugandan Mission in Ottawa is also at your service,” she added.
Hon. Babalanda further noted that the world over the diaspora has been a force that has driven the growth and economic development of countries and Uganda is no exception.
She explained that Ugandans in the diaspora make their contributions through their remittances to relatives back home. They also act as an avenue for the transfer of new skills and knowledge and they are promoters of foreign direct investment, trade and the transfer of technology as well as tourism, research, innovation, investment and the country’s interests.
“It is hence the goal of the Government of Uganda to set policies that prioritize the interests of the diaspora community. This symposium is therefore meant to unite NRM members in Canada and those in Uganda and also to discuss different opportunities for the diaspora community to fully participate in the economic development of their motherland through promoting our Ugandan products as you have witnessed H.E the President promoting our coffee in different countries.”
She however tasked them not to only end promoting coffee but they should as well discourage their people back home to desist from exporting materials in raw form, saying that this will boost the country’s economy many folds.
“The Uganda community in Canada is the human face or image around which the host country nationals form their perceptions and attitudes about Uganda. Good behaviour, achievement and reputation benefit Uganda’s image; while bad behaviour, crime and negative reputation harm Uganda’s image. I, therefore, urge the diaspora to continue exhibiting positive behaviour because you are the face of our country and the image of the NRM Party in Canada,” Hon. Babalanda stressed.
“I am happy that the NRM Chapter in Canada has embarked on efforts to clean the image of Uganda that has been maliciously damaged by unpatriotic actors with selfish agendas. You have witnessed them telling lies on social media about our government.”
The Minister also appealed to Ugandans living in Canada to support and preach the NRM ideology and promote the NRM party and showcase its achievements.
She said they should not give up on defending their government and promoting the NRM ideology, especially with the Ugandans born in Canada who have no history of their country.
“H.E. the President has always emphasized that “The strength of the NRM and its ability to govern for over three decades is rooted in the party’s push for the population’s interests rather than individual identity.” That is why it has been able to build a strong national army, bring peace, attract local and foreign business, produce goods and services, collect more taxes, cause social and economic transformation and work with other African States for a strong Continent. The practice of focusing on human needs is the reason the NRM party has won resoundingly since the 1996 elections.”
She on the other hand highlighted that one of the challenges that has been encountered in trying to mobilize Uganda’s Diaspora is the negative image portrayed by the opposition about the NRM Government as well as Uganda as a country.
“As you are all aware; “East or West home is best”. All governments world over have problems; however, problems are never solved through shouting at each other or using abusive language thereby portraying a bad image of one’s country but rather through collective effort and dialogue.”
The Symposium was also attended by the 3rd Deputy Prime Minister, Rt Hon. Rukia Isanga Nakadama, SPA/DA Amb. Hajji Abbey Walusimbi among other dignitaries from Uganda.