Munyonyo, 1st August, 2018

Distinguished guests, Ladies and Gentlemen

Salutations from the Ugandan North America Association(UNAA) president H.E. Monday Latigo who couldn’t make it today due to unprecedented health reasons, but delegated me Isaac Kigozi to represent him at this monumental gathering.

UNAA IS the largest non-Political formal association of Ugandans in the Diaspora, which is out to Promote the Social, Cultural and Economic Development of the Ugandan Community in North America and beyond . We acknowledge that people leave their home countries for different reasons and at UNAA we do not segregate between our members.

We have worked with the current leadership in Uganda and we sincerely appreciate the conducive environment availed by H.E. Yoweri Kaguta Museveni and his government which allows us to come home anytime we want and also take part in activities that benefit our Motherland.

Without Peace there is no hope and without hope, life becomes stagnant and unworthy of living. We are proud to be Ugandans, a country that has filled our hearts with hope and allowed us expand our wings without fear of war.

We however envision our country becoming the Global leader in fostering peace, although speaking from the Diaspora point of view we still need to work with our home government to put in place a number of things.

The first of such requirements is need to increase investor Confidence among the Diasporians in the development of our region. We in the diaspora have a wealth of skills and contacts that would benefit our homeland a lot, however many people are afraid of taking the first step for lack of clarity on what awaits them at home, especially those
Ugandans that left as asylum seekers. I have no doubt that our President and his team have done everything possible to assure us of security which is key, however there is a dire need to put in place more avenues to boost this confidence.

One of such things that will increase Diaspora investor confidence is knowing that our view are not left to us but are equally relayed back home, and this can be achieved by allowing the participation of Diasporans in the decision making processes or legislation.

We need a voice in Parliament.

We request our dear home leaders to develop more portals/platforms that can bring together potential diaspora investors looking for investment opportunities in their home countries and those seeking small loans or business partners to grow their businesses.

There is also a dire need to Commission a directorate dedicated to diaspora affairs so that when the Diasporans wherever they are need to know something they have a trusted centralized point where they can get information or air their views which could be vital in harnessing peace all over.

Having delivered my UNAA president’s message, I Isaac Kigozi a Ugandan Based in America, would like to add to his voice by reiterating the need for fostering investor confidence. When I came back home in 2016, I realized that we have a wealth of skilled but untapped manpower who just need the right people or groups to work with. This is why I teamed up with a few colleagues and we started an investment consultancy firm called Lync Africa, through which we have made connections that have attracted investors to our homeland.

Of course we wouldn’t be able to do this if we didn’t have a Pro-investment government and i join Mr. Latigo to thank H.E. Yoweri Museveni for the peace that is prevailing in our country making the environment business friendly.

One thing that UNAA and my company Lync Africa are heavily working on is linking businesses not just for Investment but for CSR activities too. When I was declared legally blind many years ago, I thought it was just my problem and so after my treatment I didn’t feel the impact of blindness as heavily I felt it when I came home.

Seeing a very productive demographic of our country rot away due to avoidable blindness motivated me to join hands with other Diasporans and a few local people and we formed the ICare Foundation, through which we have Diasporans and investment companies can donate money towards the treatment of our people and we have worked with Ministry of Health to restore vision to more than 700 Ugandans. Without Vision there is no hope and without hope there definitely is no peace.

I applaud our government for prioritising Education which is key to growth, however the Key to peace is Hope and when our children pursue courses without knowing whether they will be able to put their skills to work or not knowing where to go after school, they will keep getting those masters degrees and Phds but without hope and this becomes a threat to peace of our nation, because it is such people that out of frustration run to the streets to demonstrate, or easily get wooed by militant groups to destabilize the peace of our countries. Therefore we need to broaden the opportunity avenues for these young people by having more Diasporans come back to invest at home instead of spending their monies in USA and other Countries.

Not just Ugandans but also showing other investors in America and other parts of the world the opportunities there are for investment in Uganda is Lync Africa’s way of giving hope to our nation that in the end breeds Peace, which comes with both Economic and Social growth of our country.

I thank the organizers of this summit Global Peace Foundation for the efforts towards harnessing global Peace and I can guarantee that we have taken not just one step but 100fold steps in the right direction.

FOR GOD AND MY COUNTRY

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