Gov’t Stops Wooing Diaspora Ugandans to Return Home

The Prime Minister, cheapest prescription Dr Ruhakana Rugunda has said the government is no longer wooing Ugandans in the Diaspora to return home, search but is instead recognising their contribution of improving the country’s balance of payments through their remittances.

“We are considering upgrading the way we deal with Ugandans in the Diaspora so that they do not have to be resident in the country in order to contribute effectively to the economy, treat ” Dr Rugunda noted.

He said foreign remittances had been rising substantially over the years.

Rugunda was having a discourse with about 30 Ugandans of various professions and occupations living and working in Lusaka, Zambia at the upscale Taj Pamodzi Hotel on Wednesday.

He hailed Zambia for considering Ugandans as useful partners in her development, asking Ugandans to take advantage of the goodwill.

He gave an overview of improvements in the Ugandan economy, saying the focus was now on raising capacity internally and delivering socio-economic infrastructure.

“Government has decided to invest substantially in infrastructure and power generation from dams, oil and gas, solar, geothermal and others, and we believe that with these resources the standard of the people is bound to improve,” Dr Rugunda said.

Ugandans raised a wide range of issues, including those surrounding the nascent oil and gas resources in the country, review of the quashed anti-pornography law, the need to re-establish a Uganda High Commission in Lusaka, and elimination of non-tariff barriers.

Fred Kwesiga, a Ugandan who is the African Development Bank Resident Representative in Zambia, and Wenkere Kisembo, a businessman, called for exploitation of available opportunities.

They asked for protection against harassment which, however, they said was not state-inspired.

Dr Rugunda agreed with them on a number of issues, including diplomatic protection.  He, however, said to begin with, a Consulate would be established in Lusaka.

He said government was pursuing the policy of industrialisation, and improving working conditions.

“Teachers’ working conditions may not be the best but we are aware and working on them,” he noted.  Many Ugandan teachers fled to Zambia during earlier economic hardships here and were not eager to return home due to low salaries.


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