The Senior Presidential Advisor on Diaspora Affairs, Ambassador Hajji Abbey Walusimbi has assured the Ugandan Community in Qatar (UGACOQ) that as the Ambassador at large, handling and coordinating diaspora issues in government & working together with stakeholders, he will mobilise and empower Ugandans in Qatar.
In an address delivered virtually to over 6000 Ugandans living and working in Qatar, Hajj Walusimbi said the President is aware of UGACOQ, which represents a powerful force for the development of Uganda, both through remittances, promotion of trade, investments, innovation and knowledge transfer.
With the commitment to nip some employment-related issues, the Ambassador pledged to liaise with key stakeholders including the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the National Identification Registration Authority (NIRA) to ensure passport renewal & ID processing is done swiftly for the travellers.
Amb Walusimbi further disclosed that he will tour the Gulf region, including Qatar, to interface with UGACOQ, and ascertain their living and working conditions.
He thanked UGACOQ for being well-organized and urged them to remain united, and disciplined ideologically, spiritually, morally and technically if they are to be useful, to themselves and their motherland.
Meanwhile, the Deputy Head of Mission, Ambassador Muhammad Keezala, noted that very often, UGACOQ faces challenges, including poor working and living conditions, lack of information on investment opportunities, and limited multi-stakeholder coordination.
He, however, assured that the Embassy is handling some of the issues, by offering consular services, document attestation, and welfare activities for the community.
On their part, the UGACOQ committee led by the Chairperson, Mr Aliguma Saul Rayan called upon the government to avail information and support related to various aspects of living and working in Qatar, with major emphasis on passport renewal & processing of national IDs, document attestation & renewal.
They also asked the government to promote Ugandan culture & traditions in Qatar, by providing support to UGACOQ, to take part in upcoming events, such as the Qatar Expo in October 2023. This according to them is in a bid to foster cultural exchange & understanding between both countries.
In addition, UGACOQ appealed to the government to provide information on business and investment in Uganda by offering guidance on investment policies, economic trends, potential sectors for business ventures, and government programs, including PDM.
The Community also asked for legal and welfare support, in case of emergencies involving labour export companies & remittance safety.
They further requested the government to establish a community home for Ugandans in Qatar, fostering social connections and networking. This can also serve as a business hub, paving the way for Ugandan goods, thus encouraging trade and investment.
To bridge this gap and maximize diaspora contributions, Hajj Walusimbi’s Office supported and set up the Diaspora Coordination Centre, a platform that will better represent the voices of the diaspora, and enhance the visibility of the key role they play in the economic development of Uganda.
The virtual meeting was attended by among others; Mr Luswata Robert, Ms Bangi Margaret, Mr Joseph Okiru, Mr Nyanzi Fred, Jaith Keishe, and Henry Mbaziira.
Others included; Alungat Faith, Brian Birungi, Lukia Namakula, Edrisa Muhumuza, Ashraf Gavamukulya, Herbert Mukungu, Franco Kikulwe, Edson Kampurira, & Martin Kyaligonza.
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