IMO Regional Ministerial Forum on Migration Sets Path for Transformative Collaboration

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With delegates from 16 nations converging in a shared vision, the Regional Ministerial Forum on Migration conference in Entebbe, Uganda, showcased collective determination to drive inclusive development and empower diaspora women, as agents of change.

This, historic gathering organized by the International Organization for Migration (IOM), witnessed an unprecedented unity and commitment to harnessing the immense potential of diaspora.

Unified Diaspora Delegation Takes Part in Regional Ministerial Focus Conference on Diaspora Engagement.

The recently concluded Regional Ministerial Focus Conference, organized by the International Organization for Migration (IOM), saw a unified delegation from Uganda’s diaspora community actively participating. Led by Ambassador Johnny Muhindo, the Head of the Diaspora Department in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and Ambassador Abbey Walusimbi, the Senior Presidential Advisor on Diaspora Affairs, the delegation showcased Uganda’s commitment to harnessing the potential of its diaspora.

Chief of Mission, IOM/UN Migration in Uganda, Ambassador Sanusi Tejan Savage speaking during the Regional Ministerial Forum on Migration in Entebbe, Uganda.

At the conference, keynote address was delivered by the Minister of State for Gender, Hon. Peace Mutuuzo, who emphasized the significance of diaspora women’s contributions and their potential, as agents of change. She emphasized the need for gender equality, empowerment, and assured of support from government to leverage the role of Diaspora women.

The International Organization for Migration Country Chief, Ambassador Sanusi Tejan, reiterated IOM’s commitment to promote strategic partnerships between diaspora private sector, women leaders, local communities, NGOs, public & private sectors, & governments in countries of origin & host countries.

Minister of State for Regional Cooperation, Hon. John Mulimba, on the issue of the return of qualified nationals inter/intra regionally, mentioned the need for a process that encourages and facilitates secondments of diaspora in the public and private sector. He called for formation of databases, which gather details by country and region to help in capturing their humanitarian and development efforts.

The Senior Presidential Advisor on Diaspora Affairs, Ambassador Hajji Abbey Walusimbi, on behalf of Office of the President, extended thanks in honour of the pivotal role played by Diaspora Communities in building nations.

He added that the unified front of stakeholders has to engage the diasporas, and leverage their skills, resources, and networks for the country’s development.

“We need to change how we think of the Diaspora community. Currently, we look at them as remittance senders, but we need to recognize and afford them the same respect and privileges as investors because they are unconditionally investing their money into building nations.”

Delegates from East and Horn of Africa at the event.

The Head of the Diaspora Department in Foreign Affairs Ministry, Ambassador Johnny Muhindo, who led Uganda’s unified delegation, called for the need to encourage sharing of good practices, knowledge sharing, obstacles, lessons learnt & experiences among Diaspora women leaders and key stakeholders. This, he said could foster cross-cultural exchange and dialogue between Diaspora women leaders, and local stakeholders in countries of origin and host countries.

Commissioner of Labour in the Gender Ministry, Mr. Lawrence Egulu, underscored the importance placed on recognizing the vital role of Diaspora women in Uganda’s progress, adding that they are development contributors, through financial and non-financial remittances.

On the sidelines, experts had a vibrant discussion with diaspora members, including Dr. Amina Hersi, Rose Kobusinge, Eddie Sembatya, Mua-awiya Mukasa (Uganda), Dr. Lilian Muasa, & Dr. Madrine Kingendo (Kenya), Nimo Hussein, Fatumo Farah, & Layla Ali (Somalia) and Dagmawit Aynalem (Ethiopia), Ambassador Jacquline Natepi Ben (South Sudan), Senior Regional Advisor, Said Sheik Abdi (IOM Nairobi), delved into an avtion plan of enhancing the impact of contributions and empowering diaspora women further.

The plan seeks to create a more inclusive and supportive environment for diaspora women to actively participate in and shape their countries’ development, leading to safer, orderly, and humane labour migration in the East and Horn of Africa region.

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