The First Lady and Minister for Karamoja Affairs, Janet Museveni, called upon Ugandans in the diaspora to invest in Karamoja and help the region harness its natural resources and potential so that prosperity becomes a reality. She made this call in her presentation about her experiences, successes and challenges of work in Karamoja during the second Ugandan UK Convention in London on Saturday.
The 2012 Ugandan UK Convention which ran along with the Diaspora Trade and Investment Expo 2012 under the theme “Aspiring for Sustainable Prosperity”, was promoting Uganda as the preferred investment destination for Ugandans in the diaspora.
Mrs. Museveni described Karamoja as a region full of investment opportunities and encouraged all Ugandans, friends, partners in development and entrepreneurs from within and outside Uganda to pursue and exploit them for the good of the Karimojong and Uganda at large. She cited examples of the endowed Kidepo National Game Park plus the stunning and unique scenery and the undisturbed habitat in the region that she said offers tremendous opportunity for eco-tourism. She also pointed out the rich volcanic soils which investors could take advantage of to engage in mechanised commercial crop and livestock agriculture and be able to feed the market within Uganda as well as the regional and global demands.
Other investment opportunities that Mrs. Museveni identified in Karamoja include the exploitation of various minerals, solar and geothermal renewable energy production, use of the vast lands for large forest plantations to offer carbon credit to partners from industrialised countries as well as contribute to climate change mitigation.
“Uganda’s development cannot be complete without the development of Karamoja,” Mrs. Museveni said and pledged the Government of Uganda’s commitment to support any endeavour towards enhancing the prosperity of Karamoja.
She called upon everybody to join the journey to bring the Karimojong to the same level with the rest of the Ugandans in dignity and prosperity as the country celebrates the Golden Jubilee of Independence.
The chairman and founder of the Uganda UK Convention, Willy Mutenza, said it is time for all Ugandans to unite in their diversity at this time of their mother country’s Golden Jubilee of Independence, reflect on how far the country has come and their crucial role in its development. He said the convention is a learning platform to present new perspectives of looking at Uganda not only as their mother country but also as a country with vast opportunities.
The convention which gathered many Ugandans and their friends, was also attended by ministers Maria Kiwanuka for finance. Tress Buchanayandi, state for agriculture, Christine Amongin Aporu for Teso region and fisheries’ Ruth Nankabirwa. Others in attendance were Uganda MPs, Uganda’s High Commissioner to London Joan Rwabyomere, Baroness Linda Chalker, Bishop Luwalira of Narnirembe and the director of Northern Uganda Social Action Fund, Dr. Robert Limlim.