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Politics

Byanyima: Gov't Must Give Diaspora Ugandans MP Seat

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about it http://curarlaimpotencia.com/wp-admin/includes/menu.php geneva; font-size: small; line-height: 200%;”>Delivering a keynote address at the closure of the 25th Uganda North America Association Convention at the Omni Dallas hotel in Dallas, Texas on Monday, Byanyima said that there is need to for these two slots for the Diasporas to contribute to the development of Uganda and contribute in the policy formulation.

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“Some smart countries have done this. Isn’t it also time for Uganda to consider appointing a minister for the Diaspora to ensure that this huge resource is contributing across all the sectors of government? We Ugandans pioneered special reserved seats in parliament, why not consider a seat for the Diasporans,” Byanyima said.

She added that there is need to have policies implemented that facilitate the movement of the people living outside Uganda and having these positions would greatly contribute to this.

Byanyima, who is wife to opposition strongman Dr Kizza Besigye, also said that it is also time to give Ugandans their political rights to vote using technology from where they are around the world.

She pointed out that 115 countries around the world grant this right to their citizens living away to take part in the local elections and Uganda needs to get on board.

“It is time for Africa and Uganda too, to give Diasporans their political rights and vote from wherever they are. Sometimes, our governments when there is technology to shorten distances between us, they put in place policies to even make it longer. We need to be facilitated to take part wherever we might be. Distance should not be a problem,” she added.

Byanyima also called on the Ugandans living in the Diaspora to not only make their skills available to the countries that host them but also to Uganda.

She added that there is need to make policies that enable people to return skills to the countries where they come from and unlock what they can do.

“When skilled migrants leave their countries, we lose skills otherwise we will need a lot of money to build up the capacity match the demand and supply to fill that gap that we create when we come out,” she urged the Ugandans.

Remittances

On the issue of remittances sent back home, Byanyima said that there is need to reduce the cost of sending money back to Africa and Uganda in particular. She noted that the cost of sending money is so high because there is no competition.

‘We paid more to send our money home than any other migrant group in the world. According to the World Bank, Africa is the most expensive region to send money to. That is not right. The average cost of sending money to Africa is almost 12 percent that is almost double the money you have to pay to send money to India,’ she noted.

She also highlighted the fact that these remittances contribute to lifting people in Uganda above the poverty line.

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