Now that many Diasporas have obtained dual citizenship and National IDs, it is critical for political integration and inclusion of the Diaspora at the various leadership levels.
By Florence Kiremerwa
In my quest as an activist and advocate on integration of the Diaspora in the various socio-economic and political sectors of our motherland, I won't tire to continue propagating new ideas and actions to be embarked on by either the Government; individuals here or those living in the Diaspora.
The various initiatives being advanced by various actors for instance, the establishment of a Diaspora Centre by the Special Presidential Assistant on Diaspora Issues; the necessity to launch a Diaspora Trust by UNAA and many others is an indication of the various interests being fronted to ensure the Diaspora do enjoy their rights as Ugandans as well.
My assignment as the Special Presidential Assistant on Diaspora Issues, it is essential to devise measures to implement upbeat plans for effectively delivering services to the Diaspora. It should be eminent that to improve on Government; private sector and Diaspora relationship, efficient mechanisms be enhanced to co-ordinate all the various initiatives and activities to achieve the Government agenda of ‘'inclusiveness''.
Following initiatives started in conjunction with various government departments/agencies recently for delivering services to the Diaspora, e.g. the issuance of Dual Citizenship Certificates; National ID registration, coupled with concerted efforts from other agencies like; The Presidential Inquiry into Land Matters, Bank of Uganda attracting Diaspora to invest back home-through bonds, all these are indicators of governments pledge to ensure inclusiveness of all segments of society within the socio-economic growth and development.
Consequently, other parastatals e.g. NHCC and Housing Finance Bank Limited are embarking on campaigns to appeal to the Diaspora into purchasing low-cost houses through the mortgage schemes availed, an indication for recognizing them undoubtedly. It should, therefore, be crucial that there should be a comprehensive programmes, where all players need to contribute their views on best practices and actions that can be introduced in ensuring the Diaspora are genuinely integrated and are inclusive in the socio-economic programmes.
Now that so many Diasporas have obtained dual citizenship and National Identities through the co-ordinated workshops, it is critical for political integration and inclusion of the Diaspora at the various leadership levels, there is also need to further re-investigate the areas that may need reforms or changes effected since they are now "VOTERS."
The Diaspora through various foras have expressed their concerns for integration and inclusion at the various political arenas within the country. For instance: the top leadership at the ruling party- NRMs SEC has included different segments of peoples' e.g. PWDs; Women; Youth; Investors etc and left out an appointment for a representative of the Diaspora.
The contribution of the Diaspora that has been recognised towards socio-economic growth and development of the country, therefore, shall require the August House-Parliament to review electoral laws to include the Diaspora to elect and be elected to positions of responsibility e.g. the legislature. The ruling party the NRM is equally urged to review its constitution to include Diaspora representatives, for example, a male and female at the Central Executive Council (CEC). Such initiatives such guarantee Diasporas confidence in government and the ruling party of their contribution to our motherland-Uganda.
The writer is a special Presidential assistant on diaspora issues