The Nkuba Kyeyo and their role in developing Uganda

By Wanambwa M. Rogers

Courtesy photo: Middle East Consultants Limited

Since this is the month of the “Basummer” a word loosely translated to mean people who go abroad to seek for greener pastures, it is imperative that I talk about them as I conclude the 100days-100blogs challenge and consequently, the year 2019.

According to The Monitor, one of Uganda’s leading dailys, there are over 100,000 Ugandans in the middle East alone, more than 40,000 of these are in the United Arab Emirates only.

Ugandans in the Diaspora were estimated to be 1.5 million according to the UN Human Development Report by 2009, which is a decade ago. This number is estimated to have doubled in the last 10years.

According to the The East African of January 28th 2019, remittances from Ugandans working abroad are now the second forex earner after tourism. Apparently, the labour export contributes $1.2billion yearly and most of these receipts were from the Middle East.

With such figures, the value of our comrades abroad should not be taken lightly. We should protect this sector vehemently making sure Ugandans that go to work abroad are catered for and protected, both from the wrong characters that may want to do them harm from there and from the opportunists here. By opportunists here, I mean the people that take advantage of the fact that they’re not here to follow up their investments and instead of helping them, divert their monies to their own agendas.

Now in order to continue gaining from this sector, we should create a conducive environment for people going to work abroad, deliberate steps should be taken to curtail things like the killings of our sisters in the Middle East. Such can actually be avoided with simple diplomacy.

Another thing is the ridiculous amounts paid in transportation charges like visas and tickets. We should work on those too. Of course, here the government’s hand cannot be overlooked.

The potential we still can derive from this sector hasn’t fully been harnessed yet due to the fact that the expats that leave Uganda, many do not come back. We should create an environment of trust and goodwill so that there money sent back is used to their will. Now this is over to us as individuals. I mean, how do you fleece your own brother or sister or son or daughter?

Again, it is up to those that are to show those out there the investment opportunities here. It goes without saying that trust is of the utmost importance here. Are we as a people trustworthy?

With over $1billion coming in every year, we as a country should not overlook or is it underlook such monies. The investment potential of this amount is so great if harnessed properly.

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