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Events | Uganda Canada Business Expo Highlights – Sheraton Center Hotel Toronto, Canada June 29th 2018

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On Saturday June 29th all roads led to the Sheraton Center hotel in Toronto for the 2nd Uganda Canadian Business Expo and Convention. Organized under the theme Bustling new Investment frontier the event attracted a number of speakers and Canada’s leading A listers. Founded under the premise to..

1. Advance networking among the Ugandan-Canadian Diaspora by providing a forum to share ideas and build networks while maintaining home ties. It also provides referrals for obtaining services to assist fellow Ugandans looking to settle in Canada.

2. Advance and promote Uganda’s culture through networking and entertainment events, market our wildlife and tourism attractions to the broader Canadian community and North America audiences.

3. Exchange innovative ideas within the Uganda Diaspora community, help with the integration and assimilation of new Uganda Canadians into the Canadian society.

4. Attract Investors and new incubators that can be major contributors to national development.

The event was officially opened by the Rt. Hon. Speaker of Uganda’s parliament H.E. Rebecca Alitwala Kadaga and moderated by NBS Television celebrated journalist and news anchor Mr. Solomon Serwanjja. Uganda’s High commissioner to Ottawa Ambassador Joy Ruth Acheng also gave welcome remarks to Convention attendees.

Some of the Remarks and Observation by key speakers

First on the podium was the Chairman of the Aga Khan Development Network in Canada who spoke about the various Investments and Projects sponsored by the Aga Khan Development Network in Uganda including their media empire – Monitor, NTV Telvision, Jubilee Insurance, Bujjagali Power Project, the Aga Khan private schools many of which have been established across east africa and the proposed research hospital that will be built by the ADN. The Aga Khan Development Network as one of the leading tax payers in Uganda is committed to continue the partnership with Uganda Government which it applauded for the stable investment climate that has allowed investors to do business in Uganda.

Following the expulsion of the Uganda Indians by Gen. Amin Dada many Ugandans of Indian descent were relocated to Canada and now form part of the Uganda Indian Canadian Diaspora – these are now powerful leaders and influencers. They lead in fields such banking, education, hotels and entrepreneurship.  Education exchange programs that have been championed by people like our honorary to British Columbia Mr. John Halani who is also CEO Tropicana Suite Hotel in Vancouver – these continue to benefit our communities through philanthropy.  Mr. Halani talked about exchange programs he supports at Douglas college as well as biomedical student exchanges coming to St. Paul’s hospital in Vancouver.

Other speakers like Mr. Opio Oloya — Talked about opportunities in both the elementary and higher education levels and why Canada values education.  As a Phd holder and as a super-intendant of schools for York County he talked about Investment in Education.

Mr. Simon Rutega — Financial Markets Development Project — BOU Spoke about the project meant to reform the financial sector. $1.2 billion dollars largely spent on consumption trying to channel these funds into investments. Treasury bills and treasury bonds. Have your money working for you on mobile money platforms. Issuance of a Diaspora bonds used to fund specific projects.

Dr. James Lutaaya and Migrate to Canada Group talked about the Citizenship by Investment. Opportunities that do exist for Ugandans with deep pockets looking to get Citizenship in Canada or looking to migrate to Canada and the Islands. Here the Madam speaker inquired how Uganda can borrow a leaf to attract the right investors.

Mr. Geoffrey Semaganda of Action Wealth Academy discussed the value of Investing in yourself. The four pillars that can help all of us develop and invest in self improvement.

Mr. Moses Mawa — CEO Silvertrust Media and Afro Global Television discussed the impact and opportunities that do exist for the diaspora in Canada. How he was able to make it and how his publishing business has grown over the years to attract the the attention of the Canadian Government.

Mr. Fabian Kasi — CEO Centenary Bank talked about the Cente Diaspora Accounts and what Centenary bank is doing to attract diaspora capital and savings. How it continues to maintain a stable and healthy balance sheet with the largest penetration of branches across the country.

Coach Robert Katende — Having enjoyed success after the movie Queen of Katwe Coach Katende articulated the need for Government to invest in young people as a way to alleviate the high youth unemployment rates in Uganda. Through Chess he shared what the Robert Katende Initiative is doing through partnerships with the GO campaign, the Obama foundation and more philanthropic organizations across the globe.

NIRA – Although the acting Chairperson and the team from NIRA attended the absence of the team from the Citizenship and Immigration Department meant that the process of registering and verifying citizenship could not proceed as planned. Since both NIRA and Dual Citizenship and Immigration fall under the Internal Affairs docket there is a need to streamline operations of such departments to improve on service delivery.

Recommendations and Key Take Aways,

NIRA – the Immigration and Citizenship dockets need to do a better job speaking to each other to better coordinate and serve the diaspora community. The Citizenship team from the Ministry of Internal Affairs missed a great opportunity to register many of the Canadians who have always been left out of this process due to the geographical boundaries North America presents.

The absence of UIA, UTB and UWA – a missed a opportunity!

The Uganda Investment Authority absence as a body tasked with attracting investors to Uganda was a missed opportunity for to attract Investment.  Other government institutions absent included Uganda Tourism Board — a Government body tasked with marketing Uganda’s vast Tourism and Wildlife potential and Uganda Wildlife Authority — Conserving Uganda’s Wildlife for Generations needed to utilize this opportunity as a Tourism Road show to market Diaspora Tourism. 

A special thank-you to the organizing committee and all the speakers for what was a very informative business breakfast with valuable speakers across various subjects. The Business Expo will be an annual event held on the Canada Day Weekend.  June 29th – Monday July 1st 2019

Chair — John Nalima

Event Coordinator — Ronnie Mayanja

For details visit — www.ugandacanadaconvention.com

Visit Diaspora TV on Facebook to watch full live stream recording of the event.


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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