By Ronald Musoke & Joan Akello
The sixth ‘Home is the Best’ Summit organized by the Uganda Investment Authority (UIA) for Ugandans in the Diaspora returning home for Christmas is slated to take place on Dec. 28.
Ugandans living and working abroad have in recent times been recognized by the government for their direct contribution to the economic development of their motherland and as a result through the government’s investment agency, UIA, continues to interest them with investing in their home country.
Remittances from Ugandans working abroad, locally referred to as ‘Kyeyo’ have continued to grow by about 14% in the past 10 years according to a 2012 report by the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).
Despite the recent global economic slump, Kyeyo money has increased from US$ 694 m (shs 1.56 trillion) in 2008 to about US$ 773 m (1.9 trillion) in 2009 and almost shs 3 trillion in 2010. The UNCTAD report shows that remittances accounted for about 6% of Uganda’s GDP between 2008 and 2010. This has since shot to 25% in over the last two years.
The sixth event hopes to build on the gains of the previous summits by strengthening the interaction of Uganda’s public and private sector and decision makers with the visiting Diaspora, facilitate focused and individualized business discussion among the visiting Diaspora and Uganda’s manufacturing sector.
Just like the previous summits, there will be an upcountry summit in Mbale and the Ministry of foreign affairs will facilitate 16 Ugandans from the Diaspora to attend this year’s meeting in Mbale.