What is the Diaspora Services Department?
DSD plays the coordinating role for government in providing a comprehensive range of services to Ugandans abroad so as to facilitate their contribution to the country’s social, economic, technological, and political development. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has adopted international principles in recognizing and supporting the Diaspora to live and work in dignity in their host countries while assisting them to strengthen linkages and affinity with their homeland. Our mission is driven by two core values: partnership and professionalism.
The UN Human Development Report of 2009 estimates that there are 1.5 million Ugandans in the Diaspora. Many of these Ugandans possess impressive educational and professional qualifications and contribute significantly to the development of their host countries in diverse fields including medicine, business, science, technology and education. To facilitate the transfer of this knowledge back home, DSD’s web-based database will register Ugandans in the Diaspora and help to identify the available expertise. Visit the DSD website to find out how you, your company or your organisation can benefit.
Over the years, the money that Ugandans in the Diaspora send back home has grown dramatically. It was estimated at USD 849 million in 2007, which was about 30% of the country’s Gross Domestic Product, according to the UN Human Development Report of 2009. This money sustains the livelihoods of hundreds of families, pays for the education of thousands, and keeps many small enterprises and individual entrepreneurs in business. With the establishment of DSD, Ugandans in the Diaspora and their beneficiaries at home are now assured of a more convenient and secure system of transferring money. DSD will work with Bank of Uganda and the financial services sector to find means of safe, reliable and affordable remittance of funds.
The Ugandans living and working abroad have accumulated savings that could benefit the country economically in a significant way. Money invested back home by the Diaspora brings in much needed foreign exchange; it can substantially reduce Uganda’s dependence on aid and minimise the external debt burden. In cooperation with relevant government ministries, departments and agencies, DSD will assist in identifying and promoting investment opportunities that will attract the Diaspora to invest their savings in the motherland.
Ugandans are in the Diaspora for a variety of personal reasons, some of which may be sensitive. Thousands are neither known by nor registered with Uganda’s embassies and high commissions abroad. DSD will work with the missions abroad to create a welcoming atmosphere for all members of the Diaspora regardless of their political persuasions, religious affiliations and ethnic backgrounds. As a citizen in the Diaspora, you are encouraged to visit or get in touch with Uganda’s embassy or high commission in your host country to learn about the services designed for you and how you can participate in nation building activities.
Many Ugandans in the Diaspora have been away from home for long periods and have lost touch with realities on the ground. Some often depend on second-hand sources of information and hearsay to know about what is happening in the country. Through various forms of media including a dedicated website and face-to-face events, DSD will facilitate access to accurate and reliable information on all aspects of Uganda’s development including social, economic and political life.
Our Mandate Is To Support the Ugandan Diaspora to participate in national development.
Diaspora development will enable the Ministry in taking a lead role in offering a comprehensive range of services to the Diaspora that will enhance their participation in nation building activities and deepening democratic systems.
The Diaspora Division is charged with facilitating the Ugandan Diaspora to contribute towards National development through various avenue including physical or Services investments
Diaspora Services offered include:
- Registering Ugandans in the Diaspora and keeping an accurate data base of the Ugandan Diaspora.
- Under taking programmes that facilitate Ugandan Diaspora to engage in development activities such as work shops on investment opportunities.
- Support organized Ugandan Diaspora associations to under take development activities.
- Working closely with Uganda’s Foreign Missions abroad to identify and facilitate professionals to return to Uganda and contribute to its development
- To persuade and mobilize Ugandans in the Diaspora and stakeholders to support the mission of Diaspora Services Department (DSD) and to effectively participate in Uganda’s development;
- Mobilizing Ugandans to register on the Diaspora portal;
- Collecting and synthesizing a variety of information and statistics about the Ugandan Diaspora;
- Providing the Central Government, Local Governments, civil society, the private sector, and investors with information about the skills available among Ugandans in the Diaspora;
- Providing a basis for networking and interaction among members of the Diaspora;
- Availing comprehensive and reliable information on opportunities for investment, trade and tourism, incentives, and procedures in Uganda;
- Educating Ugandans at home about the Diaspora;
- Educating Ugandans in the Diaspora about the homeland including art and culture;
- To create a one-stop-centre for policy, legal and regulatory framework information about the Diaspora;
- Provide online information exchange platform between the Ministry of the Foreign Affairs Headquarters and the Diaspora;
- To promote good public relations between the Government of Uganda, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the general public and the rest of the world.