DUBAI— Businessman Ali Saleh Alswayeh has been named the Honorary envoy of Uganda to Saudi Arabia, Omani and Bahrein in a move aimed at strengthening employment, investment and trade links between Kampala and the Middle East.
Mr. Alswayeh also the Chairman of the Innovation Committee on Recruitment in the Saudi Arabian ministry of labour was named by the Office of the President as an overseas employment, trade and investment honorary envoy during a ceremony held in Ugandan Capital, Kampala.
The businessman who arrived in the country early this week on the invitation of the Senior Presidential Advisor on Diaspora Affairs, Amb. Abbey Walusimbi was praised for his contribution towards the protection of the rights of Ugandan migrant workers in Saudi Arabia and his desire to market Uganda as a trade and investment destination.
He previously rescued and took care of over 1000 Ugandan migrant workers who were stranded at different Airports in Saudi Arabia.
He accommodated them for a period of 11months during the first wave of COVID 19 lockdown and thereafter chattered flights for them, furnished their quarantine expenses and gave them some start up finances.
While handing him the appointment on behalf of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Amb. Elly Kamahungye commended his love for Uganda.
Kamahungye described Alswayeh’s appointment is a sign that Ugandan President, Yoweri Museveni values and rewards those who stand up for his ‘Bazzukulu’ (Grandchildren).
Kamahungye recommended that as part of his first assignments under the investment docket, Ali should attract an investor to help set up an abattoir that produces Halal beef both for local consumption and export, saying that this can be transported by sea or Air.
On this Ali said he had already picked interest in the long horned Ankole cattle beef which is said to have the lowest levels of cholesterol.
Earlier on, Ali held a meeting with the Minister of Trade Hon. Francis Mwebesa.
Both leaders discussed key among others, the urgent need to create market for Uganda’s agricultural products like Avocado, Coffee, watermelon and other fresh fruits in Saudi Arabia.
Ali said that as part of his first mission in his new office, he is to tap into his vast connections and entice them to invest in Uganda’s agriculture sector which is rich given the country’s fertile soils.
“Many of our people that are employing Ugandans have heard about Uganda’s fertile soils and its fruits, however, they didn’t know where to start from. Now that I have been given this responsibility, I am going to anchor Uganda to those companies and individuals I know that import these products heavily,” Ali said.
Ali added that his role won’t be too hard since Saudi Arabians are now conversant with the Ugandan culture after many of them have employed Ugandan home managers, a labour force that is ranked highly resilient and disciplined.
An appreciation dinner was later hosted at the Kampala Serena Hotel, in celebration of his new responsibility which was attended by the Minister of Gender labour and social development Hon. Betty Amongi, Minister for Kampala City Authority Hon. Minsa Kabanda, Minister of Public Service/ Justice and Constitutional affairs Hon Wilson Muruli Mukasa, Senior Presidential adviser on Special Duties Grace Kabayo among other dignitaries.
Amongi applauded Ali for being exemplary in the way he protects the Ugandan nationals in Saudi Arabia.
She said that the Office of the President couldn’t have chosen a better candidate for the job promising to support him in the execution of his overseas employment envoy work docket.
Ambassador Abbey Walusimbi expressed gratitude to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for employing many Ugandans because they are contributing positively to the country’s economy.
He said: “Although Ali Alswayeh is being appreciated, he is also here in his other capacity as a global investor, and seeks investment opportunities in Uganda’s Trade, Tourism and Agriculture sectors.”
Ali is passionate about promoting Uganda’s coffee and is keen to heavily invest in digital classes for health trainees especially nurses and midwives.
Walusimbi added that the Office of the president will continue to source for more people with the vision as Mr. Ali in all the destinations where President Museveni’ s Bazzukulu live and work, because he is committed to ensure that they are safe.
The Presidential Advisor, Grace Kabayo appreciated Amb. Walusimbi for not disappointing the President in advancing for the rights of diasporas.
He called on Ali to be result oriented and deliver as expected.
Ali was later received by the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Okello Oryem.