The business expo and convention presents various trade and investment opportunities for economic and social growth of all Ugandans.
DIASPORA - The forthcoming Uganda Canadian business breakfast and convention promises a lot, according to the CEO of Uganda Diaspora Network and coordinator of the convention, Ronnie Mayanja.
New Vision's Brenda Nakayiwa caught up with Mayanja, who was in the country to organize the recently concluded 8th Annual Uganda Diaspora Social Networking Gala and business breakfast, on what this year's event to be held in Canada entails
You introduced the 3rd Uganda Canadian business breakfast and convention registration booth at the recently concluded 8th annual Uganda diaspora social networking gala and business breakfast. Tell us more about that convention
We held the first Uganda Canadian convention in 2012 in Vancouver. I did it in conjunction with the Ugandan community in Vancouver and I thought we would hold it every year, but because it was so expensive, I paused it till 2017. We held the second one in Toronto last year and it was quite successful. We invited the Speaker of the Parliament, Hon. Rebecca Kadaga and several Members of Parliament (MPs). I was also able to reach out to the Ambassador of Uganda to Canada Ms. Joy Ruth Acheng, and the Agha Khan Foundation and they supported us. We had a business breakfast, picnic lunch, grand dinner, and a boat cruise, among others. Based on last year's success, we decided to do it again.
When is this year's convention taking place, and what is the theme?
This year's Uganda Canadian Diaspora Business Expo and Convention will be held in Toronto from June 29 to July 1, which is the Canada Day weekend. The theme of the event will be: Canada, A Bustling New Investment Frontier.
Toronto is the largest city in Canada and 4th largest city in North America. It has a lot more Ugandans than any other city in Canada. So, that's why we are holding it there.
Why should one consider attending the convention? What are some of the main activities they should look forward to?
The business expo and convention presents various trade and investment opportunities for economic and social growth of all Ugandans. They including; diaspora banking, mortgage financing, health insurance, venture capital, diaspora SMEs and money transfers. Others are diaspora tourism, affordable college education, immigration and resettlement tips.
Government departments will also have representatives to give services to Ugandans in diaspora where National Identification and Registration Authority (NIRA) will register Ugandans in diaspora for National IDs. The Ministry of Internal Affairs Directorate of Citizenship and Immigration Control (DCIC) will oversee dual citizenship registration and passport renewal.
Who are the event main speakers?
The event will be chaired by the Chairperson of Uganda Canadian Diaspora Network John Naliima, a software engineer based in Toronto.
Dr Opiyo Oloya, MED, PhD, LLD, an education expert and the superintendent of schools in York County in Ontario will be one of the speakers at the event. Oloya is also famed for his weekly by-line; Letter from Toronto in the New Vision.
We have a lot more heavy lifters who will speak to participants like Dr James Lutaaya, the Managing Partner of James, Associates & Partners which is affiliated to Migrate to Canada Group. He is also the Vice president of the Canadian Association of Black Lawyers (BC Chapter).
Geoffrey Semaganda, a world-renowned speaker, mentor, businessman, and philanthropist whose best-selling books and seminars have inspired thousands throughout Europe and the Middle East, Africa, Asia, and the US, will also speak at the event.
What does it take for Ugandans in the diaspora to attend the convention?
They have to register on our website and pay $200 (about sh740,000) to attend the convention.
What does it take for a Ugandan back home in Uganda to attend the convention?
We are doing registration at Post Bank main branch. Registration fee is $200(about sh740,000) non-refundable, which we will use to book the hotel and secure the venue. After registration, we will hand you over to Migrate to Canada Group that will advise you on how to process paper work and help you with the entire visa application process.
We have also partnered with Ethiopian Airlines to offer special discount fares to Toronto for all Canada Convention attendees
Entertainment is apparently a big part of diaspora conventions. What is lined up this year?
We shall have entertainment from different performers, dinner gala, picnic and a boat cruise, among others.
So I am looking forwarding to seeing all those who will be part of this amazing experience come this year's Canada Day weekend