KAMPALA —Mr. Isaac Kigozi, the Head of Trade and Investment under the President’s Office is spearheading efforts to establish trade and investment links between Uganda and Illinois State in America.
Through the Office of the Senior Presidential Advisor on Diaspora Affairs, also a department under the President’s Office, Mr. Kigozi has since has held several meetings with potential investors, political heads and scholars in the State of Illinois— marketing Uganda as an investment destination.
Key among others, Kigozi has since met and held talks with Illinois Senator, Patricia Van Pelt, Cook County Commissioner 6th District, Hon. Donna Miller, Dr. Donna Leaks the Illinois 2021 Superintendent award winner and Hon. Toi Hutchinson the Senior Advisor to Illinois Governor.
Others top are Counsel Candace Tillman Tyndall and Doctor Bill Winston the Founder of Living Word Christian Center.
Kigozi said that the campaign follows an initiative by President Museveni to entice all historical Diasporas to come back to Africa, understand who they are, connect with their history, the heritage, get a sense of belonging and understand that their true home is Africa.
“President Museveni has developed a strong strategy to entice many people especially Africans living in the diaspora to return home, share their knowledge and help in the development of our country and the African continent at large,” Kigozi said, noting Illinois State is targeted for fostering a strong trade and investment relationship with Uganda since it is one of the States with the highest number of Historical Diaspora.
“We feel that every African American has value and we want them, we need them and we welcome them to come to Uganda and assist us in taking our country to the next level,” Kigozi said.
He observed that to achieve the objective, President Museveni designated the Office of the Senior Presidential Adviser on Diaspora Affairs run by Amb. Abbey Walusimbi set up to entice Africans to return home who account to more than 60bn dollars to American economy.
Kigozi observed that a similar campaign was launched in 2020 which saw a number of historical African Diaspora come to Uganda from Chicago, California, Atlanta, Texas and Les Vegas and so far, 6 businesses have been registered while 2 people have already purchased land.
During the meetings, Illinois leaders and investors expressed interest in coming to Uganda next year as well as establishing ties between the Kampala government and the Illinois State.
On her part, Hon. Donna Miller noted that she will take it upon herself to set up trade missions between Uganda and Illinois, open up markets for Uganda’s agricultural products such as Coffee, Cocoa, Vanilla among others.
Dr. Donna Leaks observed that there is need to establish linkages and exchange programs between Ugandan universities and the Historical Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) so as to boost the education sector.
Counsel Candace Tillman Tyndall noted that she will be coming to Uganda to set up establishments and investments in the real estate sector.
“I do real estate development I would love to set up both residential and commercial estates in Uganda. I am a big supporter for the campaign to encourage African diasporas return t Africa because for years we have been deprived of history and heritage,” Candace said.
Dr. Bill Winston the Founder of Living Word Christian Center expressed his love for Uganda noting that it’s one of the Nation that puts God first and will be looking forward to establishing a long-lasting church relationship between Uganda and his Ministry.
As a CEO of Golden Eagle Aviation, Dr. Bill noted that he looks forward to boosting Uganda’s aviation industry as well as offering training to Uganda’s pilots and students.
Last week in Dubai, the Senior Presidential Advisor on Diaspora Affairs, Amb. Abbey Walusimbi reminded Ugandans in the diaspora of their role to market their country as a tourism and investment destination.
Amb. Walusimbi told the leaders to always be patriotic and advance for the common good of the country.
“Every Ugandan should take it upon themselves to market Uganda as a boiling point of opportunities and this will attract more investors into the country. You are the first Uganda’s ambassadors wherever you are and you should work towards building your home country,” Walusimbi said.
During meeting, the community leaders in Dubai sought for the Ambassador’s intervention in solving a number of issues that affect their stay in the foreign land.