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UNAA Miami Highlights | The Convention That Was And The Road to Make UNAA Great Again!

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Posted September 7, 2017 by Ugandan Diaspora News Team in UNAA Miami highlights in Pictures ~ 1,585 views

     

Day One Business Forum — The 29th UNAA Convention was held on labor day weekend in the tropical southern sunshine state of Florida. Convention attendees had started converging at the Intercontinental hotel in Miami as early as Thursday and in a break with the recent past this year’s get together attracted a sizable turnout owing to the UNAA election calendar that saw elections held on Sunday 3rd September 2017.

Friday started off with a Business forum attended by a large delegation from Uganda’s Parliament. The government delegation was led by the Speaker of Parliament Hon. Rebecca Alitwala Kadaga who was accompanied by Government Chief Whip Hon. Ruth Nankabirwa. Other attendees included the Minister of Public Service Hon. Muruli Mukasa, the Minister of Lands Hon. Betty Amongi Akena, the Minister in Charge of Kampala Hon. Betty Kamya  and over 31 MPs made the trip this year. 

Other attendees included representatives from the private sector especially banking and healthcare.The theme this year was “Economic Empowerment and Health Care Transformation.” The new Ambassador to Washington H.E Mull Katende welcomed the Speaker and the delegates to Miami and pledged Uganda Embassy support for UNAA activities during his tenure. 

After presentations from the various stakeholders the Speaker then opened up the session for an open Q&A that discussed various topics that included dual citizenship, tourism, trade, the revival of Uganda airlines and more. However notably absent was the presence of Uganda Tourism Board tasked with helping to market Uganda’s image abroad.

This year saw representatives from the Directorate of Citizenship and Immigration in the Internal Affairs Ministry hand over the first  Dual Citizenship certificates to those that applied. National Identity Cards were also issued to those that met the requirements.  This was a good step in the right direction for UNAA however a petition filed 3 years ago seeking the interpretation of the dual citizenship law needs to be addressed since Uganda’s land ownership policy as it refers to the Diaspora has evolved.

The following day on Saturday September 2nd it was the official opening ceremony of the UNAA Miami convention and here UNAA attendees were treated to a lunch as they listened to the welcome remarks from the Speaker of Parliament. Other speakers included sponsors and this session also attracted some light entertainment before breaking off into the Annual General Meeting.

However the first major glitch of this year’s Convention came later that evening when more than 50 paid attendees failed to make the boat cruise that had been over sold. The scuffle that ensued at the entrance prompted the owners to call in the coast guard in order to set sail. The dynamic duo Radio and Weasel were a no show despite of being heavily advertising. This left Winnie Nwagi and a host of Ugandan comedians as the major headliners at the 3 day event.

It was an event that some thought would cost the UNAA President the election however those who failed to make the boat were later promised refunds at the hotel. A second boat hired by Mr. Muvawala also sold out leaving many attendees stranded however it was DJD from Washington who saved the day by treating many of the revelers to some nice old skool music. 

This year the presence of Uganda’s opposition was largely absent prompting some to say that UNAA has now been cloned by the NRM party that enjoys a free hand in the UNAA affairs. Whether this is true of false ONLY time will tell since this would be deviating from the UNAA goal of remaining a non political entity.

After an eventful weekend in Miami Ugandan Diaspora News embarked on another journey to the west coast to cover the Uganda Festival in Las Vegas. Below are some of the convention highlights from Miami that we managed to capture in pictures! 


About the Author

Ugandan Diaspora News Team

Ugandan Diaspora News Online is an independent, non political news portal primarily aimed at serving Ugandans who work and reside outside Uganda. Our aim is to be a one stop shop for everything Ugandan and the celebration of our Ugandan heritage.

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