The state visit by Indian Premier to Uganda, the first of its kind in the last two decades, shall live to be cherished.
By Florence Kiremerwa
KAMPALA - I have taken sometime without commenting on any issues as they occur in the socio-economic and political landscape of Uganda.
However, I am indebted to express my views over the Indian Premier H.E. Nerandra Modi’s recent visit to our motherland.
A number of theories have been presented ranging from consolidating their supremacy over us and the possibility of a cold war of the most powerful countries in the world over the developing countries. Forexample, East Africa; Asia, among others.
The state visit by Indian Premier to Uganda, the first of its kind in the last two decades, shall live to be cherished many years to come following the government acceptance to the $200m financial support as an incentive to steer our socio-economic growth and development.
The high level pact between President Yoweri Museveni and one of the most powerful leaders in the world, I am optimistic shall cuddle relationship and enhance co-operation amongst the two countries.
The interaction which was exhibited between Museveni and Modi; the Indian Diaspora living here and our legislature, hence requires us to pick learning points as a Government and in return emulate some of the past event.
As we recapitulate over some of the minute incidences that characterised part of the Premier’s itinerary, we observe key events were a significance factor of infiltrating the dark world; consolidation of support and integration of patriotism through appealing to the human resource as a capital necessity in the development of India.
The interaction by the Indians with the Premier at Kololo Airstrip, was a public statement of the eminence of Diaspora in the socio-economic and political development in lieu of whichever country they belong.
The Indian Diaspora has made a tremendous contribution to their country’s treasury that is accumulated from the remittances they send back home from the abundant business entities they are operating in various towns within Uganda and from which they are enjoying enormously.
The commercial or economical legal framework has presented the conducive environment and empowered their capacity to invest and earn lots of monies that has enabled them to remit their profits and build their empires in India.
This was a great expression that displayed unity and their importance towards growth and development of India.
The event’s organiser’s foresight must have been well calculated that ensured the integration of the Diasporas’ meeting with the Premier as a key component of the programme to the premier’s agenda in Uganda.
H.E Modi secured time from his busy schedule and met his people (the Indians), to re-assure them on their substantial contribution to their powerful nation- socially and economically.
This was calculated to occur prior to interacting with the legislators, who are mandated to enact laws; monitor government policies/programmes and ensure their diaspora is well cherished.
This gesture presents a ‘’Food for Thought’’ to the programme organisers (protocol officials) for President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni’s tours abroad.
I urge the different and responsible government officials responsible for drawing the programmes for the presidential tours abroad of a necessity to integrate a Diaspora meeting session in each and every official visit President Museveni makes to any country.
To-date, we have admiration and credence in the Diasporians socio-economic contribution to the nation through their remittances which has been recorded in all our statistics.
It is, therefore, imperative an avenue is created as one of the conduits to allow this vital segment of society to meet; share and hear continuously from their president whenever he makes tours to the various countries he is hosted all over the world.
It should also be noted that the organisers in liaison with appointed officials in various government agencies/ embassies and High Commission abroad.
Forexample, the Diaspora Desk Officer at Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA); the Special Presidential Assistant on Diaspora Issues (SPA-D) in the office of Presidency and Socio-Economic Attaches at our consular offices abroad, are part of this collaboration towards creating an enabling environment to facilitate such meetings similar to the one hosted at Kololo Airstrip.
Officials, for example, the SPA-D in collaboration with the embassy/high Commission officials should be empowered to mobilise the Ugandans in Diaspora to attend such crucial meetings.
Such initiatives shall boost the President’s efforts of consolidating support; patriotism and increase the Diasporas royalty to their President and the country at large.
At incidences of the president’s tours abroad, meetings with Diaspora that would have been promised are occasionally cancelled at last minute leaving the respective officials who may have mobilised the Diasporians left to struggle explain the justification for the action taken against them.
This creates amongst the Diasporians mistrust and loss of confidence in the officials that may have taken on the initiative.
Failure to meet a leader doesn’t help in sensitising the Diaspora on the Government agenda and mechanisms through which they can be helpful to their country in full filling its priorities to meet and share with their leader.
The responsible officials must take lessons from Modi’s visit and ensure such events are integrated in the leaders travel itinerary.
This shall build a better understanding of the Government policies and programmes the NRM is implementing and an opportunity for them to realise areas where they can tap into the socio-economic development of our country.
The writer is the Special Presidential Assistant on Diaspora Issues firstname.lastname@example.org