President directs on one-stop investment centre at Diaspora meet

Friday 9th May 2014

"It is not easy to wake people who don't know that they are sleeping" - President Museveni on Africa's slumber

President Yoweri Museveni has said that the problem in Africa was the failure by Africans to realize that other continents have left them behind and that they need to invest in infrastructure for their countries to develop.

"In Ankole we have a proverb; that a person who does not understand that he has been left behind by others, believes that they are waiting for him", he said, noting that his government had initiated a number of infrastructure developments that are needed for the country's fast economic growth.

The President said that unlike previously, the government has constructed roads, dams for power generation and other infrastructure using its own revenue.

President Museveni was addressing Ugandans in the diaspora at St. James Courts London during a three day working visit in the United Kingdom.

He had earlier attended a two-day UK-Uganda business forum organized jointly by the Commonwealth Business Council and the Uganda Investment Authority (UIA) and also met businessmen, industrialists and officials of the British government.

He was accompanied by his wife, Hon. Janet Museveni who is also Minister for Karamoja Affairs, and a powerful government delegation such as Ministers of Foreign Affairs; Trade, Industry and Co-operatives; Transport and Works; Lands, Housing and Urban Development; Finance and Planning; Energy and Minerals; Members of Parliament and heads of government institutions, Uganda Investment Authority (UIA) and Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA).

Responding to concerns about lack of information on investment opportunities in Uganda, the President reminded Uganda Investment Authority director, Eng. Ssebbowa, of his directive to expedite the establishment of a One-Stop-Centre to provide information to the potential investors but advised members of the Diaspora not to buy land occupied by tenants and bonafide occupants because it is against the law.

Ugandans living and working in the United Kingdom led by their chairman Ceaser Kalema urged President Yoweri Museveni to offer himself in the 2016 Presidential elections saying that as Ugandans in the diaspora who have invested substantially in the country, they believe that he should stand to maintain the peace and development the country is enjoying.

Mr. Kalema told the President that basing on what he has done and recognizing that the country still needed his services, it was their view that he stands in the 2016 elections.

They praised Uganda's High Commissioner to the Uk Prof. Joyce Kakuramatsi Kikafunda for uniting Ugandans in the diaspora and rallying them to invest home.

However, the President did not respond to their suggestion maintaining that it was not a question but a comment.

They also raised their concern over failure by the Uganda Investment Authority to provide them with information an issue which has adversely affected their investment.

"If you do not address their concerns, I will come for you", the President warned.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs Sam Kuteesa, disclosed that government is planning to register all Ugandans abroad and what they do to enable Government intervene in cases of crises where Ugandans are caught up abroad.

He, however, noted that some of them prefer to operate under the radar, which is a challenge.

Kutesa further explained that the current registration for National Identity Card will not include those abroad and that the exercise, will be halted in February 2015 to allow the Uganda Electoral Commission to register voters. It is after this exercise of the Electoral Commission, that registration of those abroad will be conducted.

The Minister of Lands, Housing and Urban Development, Daudi Migereko, told the meeting that measures are being undertaken by government to ease land title acquisition and other attendant reforms that he had undertaken in the Ministry.

The Deputy Governor Bank of Uganda, Louis Kasekende, advised Ugandans abroad to take advantage of the investment packages offered by the Bank of Uganda such as buying of treasury bills and bonds.

Dr Abel Rwendeire explained the purpose and objectives of the Vision 2040 and stressed the importance of educating Ugandans in technology.


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