NEW YORK — The bilateral discussions between Amb. Abbey Walusimbi, a Senior Presidential Advisor on Diaspora Affairs and Nigerian Consular General to New York, Peter Egopija on Friday July 16 have focused on diaspora community development, investment and tourism, which join the two countries.
During a meeting held at the Nigerian Consulate in New York, Walusimbi said the development strategies of the two countries are compatible and present each other with important opportunities.
“His Excellency, President Museveni as a Pan-Africanist believes that as Africans we need to work together to create the platforms for greater interactions and engagement with African diasporas for the benefits of the African continent,” Walusimbi said.
Walusimbi said that his visit is as well aimed at learning and understanding the methods and successes of the Nigerian Consulate in handling diaspora concerns of their people.
Walusimbi who Thursday held similar talks with Sierra Leone’s, representative to Washington DC, Amb. Sidique Abou-Bakarr Wai said his office is working rooth and nail to establish a strong relationship with other African countries in building the diaspora into a stronger force of economic growth and development.
The meeting was attended by Ralph Charles the Special Advisor to New York state Senate, James Sanders Jr, Dr. Nelson Aluya the President of Nigerian American Public Affairs Committee (NAPAC), Olivia Nantongo from the Office of Senior Presidential Advisor on Diaspora Affairs, among others.
The Nigerian Consular Egopija called on the two countries to maintain the momentum of high-level exchanges and continue to staunchly support each other on issues of their core interests and major concern.
On mobilization and engagement of the diaspora, he advised Walusimbi to establish credible data of all Ugandans in the diaspora, finding out what they do and how government can help them do similar work back home.
“I advise that you get to know your people, listen to them and see how they can contribute to the development agenda taken by President Museveni. As a way of talking to diaspora, we have developed town hall meetings where we meet our diasporas to hear from them,” Egopija said.
He added that: “If you talk to them, you are not likely to go to war with them, it’s the absence of communication that brings strife. We are Africans, we should be able to entertain divergent views.”
Walusimbi later held a closed door meeting with Ralph Charles the Special Advisor to New York State Senate, James Sanders Jr.