The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing.” — Walt Disney
It is with great pleasure that I once again welcome all of you to another Uganda Convention, and although I say so myself, they get better every year. This year is no exception.
Ours is a diverse nation, culturally, linguistically, ethnically, and needless to say politically. At the Uganda Convention, we pride ourselves in genuinely seeking to have all corners of our land, all opinions, represented, so we all as one in our great diversity. Thus united, we can then engage in the development of our homeland.
None of this would be possible without the wonderful support of leaders from across the width and breadth of our country. These leaders range from Parliamentarians, government representatives, their opponents, to our hereditary leaders.
We at the convention believe firmly, that to achieve sustainable success, we have to be confident in our identity as Ugandans, rooted in our many diverse cultures.
This year, we are particularly honoured to have with us, his Highness, David Onen Acana 11, of Acholi and retired Colonel Dr. kiiza Besigye.
And we are so pleased to have with us a lady who has tirelessly championed the Diaspora community, the Speaker of our national parliament, Rebecca Alitwala Kadaga. It is now three years, since Ms Alitwala Kadaga appointed a special officer to ensure that the Diaspora is represented in the Ugandan Parliament.
She is accompanied by sixteen of her colleagues from across our country’s political spectrum. Those of who would like to know what’s it might be like to work, live or simply forge relationships in different parts of Uganda, can do no better than put all your questions to Members of Parliament who represent these areas.
We look forward to a question and answer session with them, which I am sure will be an eye opener or everyone. We are most grateful to them for making the journey to be with us.
Opportunities in Uganda abound, and we shall hear a great deal about them from our distinguished guests. With opportunities, however, there are of course always challenges, and vice versa. It is important that we highlight the challenges, the better for all of us to be well prepared for them.
We are pleased to have Mr Amin Mawji OBE, Diplomatic Representative, Aga Khan who will outline some of these challenges, as of course will other speakers.
Trade between Uganda and the UK is of course of great importance to both countries, and we are delighted, and grateful to have Lord Popat with us, fresh from his new appointment as the new UK Prime minister’s trade envoy to Uganda, and Rwanda.
The Prime minister could not have chosen a better candidate. Lord Popat knows Uganda well, having been born there, before moving to the UK in 1971.
He is therefore a member of our Ugandan Diaspora, and his remarks will be invaluable for anyone with businesses or business ideas between the UK and Uganda.
I must mention our youth forum. Encouraging our young people to forge strong links with their country of origin is a very important part of the convention.
I call upon all of our youth to take advantage of the opportunity to learn, and share ideas with all our distinguished guests, who I know will be delighted to engage with them.
We are happy to report that over the last 5 years, over 3475 delegates have attended the Convention; more than 90 Ugandans relocated to Uganda, 31 companies from Uganda have showcased their services and 67 UK companies including SME by Diaspora have also exhibited at the Conventions.
We have on record over 7 companies in the process of investing or have invested in Uganda, for example Signature Group which signed an MOU with the government to build over 10,000 homes for the police.
Some of the charitable achievements include 2 tractors donated by a delegate at the 3rd Convention to the First Lady, and money donated to refurbish a primary school in Ntugamo, over 50 disadvantaged disabled students benefiting from the Convention and money donated to the Nnabagereka Development Foundation.
Finally, this event could not be what it is without our sponsors like; World Remit, Centenary Bank, Pockit, Buganda Land Board, The Source of the Nile, Postbank, Turkish Airlines, our media partners and not to mention the Uganda High Commission and our organising committee.
A very warm welcome to our exhibitors, and last but most importantly, thank you to each and every one of you for coming, and making this Convention the great experience that it has become.
Have a wonderful day, and as always, please share any feedback with us. I wish you a truly wonderful and productive day.
Thank you so much.
Founder / Chairman