NEWS – President Yoweri Museveni officially concluded the two-day Canada NRM Chapter Symposium 2023 on Sunday evening, urging Canadians to explore investment opportunities in Uganda.
Addressing a virtual audience of over 350 Ugandans residing in Canada from the Woodbine Hotel in Toronto via Zoom, President Museveni extended a warm invitation to interested Canadian investors to engage in valuable ventures within Uganda.
“The Canadian investors who seek to enhance the value of our products are wholeheartedly welcomed to Uganda,” declared the President during a closing ceremony attended by distinguished Canadian investors and business figures, among others.
As the NRM National Chairman, President Museveni guided the audience through Uganda’s economic transformation, highlighting the nation’s transition from a modest economy reliant on cotton, coffee, copper (3Cs), tobacco, tea, and tourism (3Ts) in 1962, to a more progressive status under the NRM’s leadership since 1986. He emphasized the significance of NRM’s strategic focus on economic recovery and expansion, even leading to the elevation of products that were previously disregarded, now becoming vital contributors to the country’s economy.
An illustrative example provided by President Museveni was maize, once solely a food crop producing around 500,000 kilograms annually, which has now evolved into a cash crop with a staggering 5 billion kilograms, exported annually. Furthermore, Uganda has risen to prominence as the leading milk producer on the African continent, among other achievements.
With visible enthusiasm from the audience, which included Ugandan students and professionals working in Canada, President Museveni underscored the imperative of prioritizing “value addition” across Uganda’s range of raw materials. He encouraged Canadian investors to consider engaging in diverse service sectors such as tourism, hotels, and ICT.
President Museveni further detailed how the NRM government’s efforts have translated into tangible outcomes, with 61% of the population now thriving within a money economy, a stark contrast to the 39% who were previously primarily subsistence farmers.
During the same event, the leader of the delegation, third Deputy Prime Minister and Minister without portfolio, Rukia Isanga Nakadama, expressed deep appreciation for Ugandan emigrants’ contributions to poverty eradication in Uganda through their involvement in Foreign Direct Investments, remittances, trade promotion, public diplomacy, and skills transfer. She emphasized the importance of fostering dialogue and unity among Ugandans abroad to build a resilient diaspora community that continuously bolsters Uganda’s economy.
Fred Kinene, Chairperson of the Canada NRM Chapter, conveyed the diaspora community’s gratitude to President Museveni for his support of the symposium. Kinene, representing the diaspora, commended the President and requested his consideration for a visit to Canada. Amb. Abby Walusimbi, Senior Presidential Advisor on diaspora Affairs, announced the continued coordination of Ugandans abroad to invest back home, sharing that similar successful meetings were held in South Africa and would expand to other countries. He praised President Museveni for his commitment to establishing a diaspora Industrial park in Uganda.
The closing ceremony featured addresses by High Commissioner to Canada Amb. Joy Ruth Acen and the Minister for Presidency Milly Babalanda, among others. The two-day symposium concluded with the Deputy Premier leading attendees to the dance floor, followed by a traditional Ugandan meal.
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