President of the Ugandan North America Association (UNAA), Monday Latigo has highlighted the need by government to increase confidence among Ugandans living abroad, about the peace that awaits them if they decide to return home.
This was entailed in his speech at the 16th Global Peace Leadership Conference in Kampala, which was delivered by the Executive Director ICare Foundation; Isaac Kigozi a US based Ugandan.
Latigo noted that while the current leadership of President Museveni has created a conducive environment which allows Diasporas to return home anytime, a number of areas need to be enhanced.
“Without Peace there is no hope and without hope life becomes stagnant and unworthy of living; we envision our country becoming the Global leader in fostering peace, although speaking from the Diaspora point of view we still need to work with our home government to put in place a number of things,” Latigo noted.
Latigo said that the diasporas have a wealth of skills and contacts that would benefit Uganda a lot, but that many people are afraid of taking the first step for lack of clarity on what awaits them at home, especially those Ugandans that left as asylum seekers.
“I have no doubt that our President and his team has done everything possible to assure us of security which is key; however there is need to put in place more avenues to boost this confidence,” Latigo demanded.
He added, “One of such things that will increase Diaspora investor confidence is knowing that our views are not left to us but are equally relayed back home, and this can be achieved by allowing the participation of Diasporas in the decision making processes or legislation. We need a voice in Parliament.”
He also requested government to develop more platforms that can bring together potential diaspora investors looking for investment opportunities in their home country and those seeking small loans or business partners to grow their businesses.
“There is also need to commission a directorate dedicated to diaspora affairs so that when the Diasporas wherever they need to know something, they have a trusted centralized point where they can get information or air their views which could be vital in harnessing peace all over.”
On his part, Kigozi applauded government for prioritizing education which is key to growth but added that the key to peace is hope, which can only be achieved by assuring youth of jobs after school.
“Our children pursue courses without knowing whether they will be able to put their skills to work or not knowing, where to go after school. They will keep getting those masters degrees and Phds but without hope and this becomes a threat to peace of our nation, because it is such people that out of frustration run to the streets to demonstrate, or easily get wooed by militant groups to destabilize the peace of our countries.”