ABUJA – The Senior Presidential Advisor on Diaspora Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Abbey Walusimbi has received the Global Diaspora Award for his tireless effort in promoting the Diaspora cause.
Ambassador Walusimbi who spent the week on a working visit to Nigeria also secured a slot for Uganda to host the next Global African Diaspora Symposium in 2025.
Walusimbi who is President Museveni’s right-hand man on diaspora affairs was in the company of Ambassador Alfred Nnam, Deputy Head of Mission at Uganda High Commission in Abuja; Ambassador John Muhindo, Head of the Diaspora Department at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Mr. Robert Basiima Councellor at the High Commission.
The Global African Diaspora Symposium whose theme was “Building Stronger Connections between Africa and the Global Diaspora” brought together hundreds of participants from the African, Caribbean, and Pacific States and from the United States of America.
Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari opened the conference which laid emphasis on the need for African countries to provide a conducive atmosphere for Diaspora investments.
The Symposium repeatedly called for the enhancement and strengthening of Business interactions to provide employment opportunities, especially for the youth and women; enhancement of Financial flows and investment; leveraging of knowledge, technology, and skills; maximum use of the Diaspora networks and external connections etc.
On his part, Amb. Walusimbi conveyed to the Symposium a Goodwill Message to President Museveni, appreciating the increasing importance of the African Diaspora in the economic, social, and cultural development of the Continent, and its vital role in shaping Africa’s future and its transformation agenda.
He called on the participants to work towards a more integrated and prosperous Africa by leveraging the diversity of Diaspora experiences, expertise, and resources.
Walusimbi urged participants to take advantage of Uganda’s conducive business and investment climate and to experience the country’s unique and attractive tourism.
In the margin of the Global Diaspora Symposium, Walusimbi held discussions with the Nigerian Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Zubairu Dada; The Jamaican Minister of Tourism Edmund Bartlett; the President of the Constituency for Africa Mr. Malvin Foot from the USA; the Representative of the Ghanaian President Ambassador Sena Boateng; and the Chairman/CEO of the Nigerian Diaspora Commission Dr. Abike Dabiri-Erewa.
The Diaspora was briefed in detail on the ongoing efforts to finalize a National Diaspora Policy.
A number of Government Institutions and programs have been established at the State House, in Parliament, and at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to address the needs of the Diaspora Communities including the provision of Consular services and protection, information on investment opportunities available in the country, etc.
The institutional and policy frameworks include providing conducive conditions to help attract and secure Diaspora investments.
On their part, the Ugandan diaspora community in the West African nation called for more information availability, security of investments, enhanced opportunities for investments, and prioritizing and mainstreaming of the Diaspora in Government programs.
The Diaspora Community in Nigeria reiterated its commitment to increase investments and overall involvement in the national development process and transformation agenda.
The Diaspora appreciated the Government initiative to start direct air flights by Uganda Airlines to Lagos and to Abuja and looked forward to its early start.
The Diasporas in Abuja also called for Government to set up units that will enable the High Commission in Abuja to issue Passports, National Identity Cards, and other Identity documents.
The Diasporas invited Ambassador Abbey Walusimbi and the accompanying Team to come back to Nigeria and the West Africa Region in October 2023 to deepen the cooperation and collaboration that has been initiated in Abuja.