Mr. Alfred Balinda, the Acting High Commissioner in Uganda, in his opening remarks pointed out that the Convention was one of a unique kind to be hosted in the United Kingdom, and indeed had attracted so many participants and distinguished delegates from across the world and was increasingly attracting the largest gathering of Ugandans as well as friends of Uganda, and both existing and potential business investors with the view of sharing knowledge, ideas and to learn more about what prospective business opportunities that are available in Uganda.
He said that, the Government was directing her emphasis on public investment in infrastructure, recovery in private domestic consumption and investment demand as well as promoting investment in the agricultural sector whilst preaching the need for value addition. He subscribed to the theme of the day “Why Invest in Uganda Now”. Drawing the delegates attention to the prevailing political stability in Uganda, the guaranteed peace and security of person and property with one of the most competitive and liberalised economy in the region. Hence, ranking Uganda the number one enterprising country in the world.
He was delighted that this forum was deliberating on pertinent issues that formed part of the mandate as servants of Government at the Uganda High Commission accredited to the Court of St James’s, London.
He disclosed that, the Government had reduced the cost of tourist visas to Uganda from $100 to $50, and introduced E-visa application system. This decision was mainly to attract more tourists to Uganda, as well as enabling increased service delivery, accountability and efficiency in the visa issuing system. All visa prone applicants without exception shall in due course be required to apply online before travelling to Uganda. Pending the full implementation of the E-visa system, travelers were still welcome to obtain visas on arrival at the airport or at the Uganda Missions abroad.
Mr Balinda advised that Ugandans who desires to acquire citizenship of another country while retaining their citizenship of Uganda (Dual Citizenship) were free to do so following the constitutional amendment of Article 15 of the constitution that prohibited dual citizenship. Dual citizenship application forms were available at the Mission, but the process of payment, consideration and granting of a certificate of citizenship is currently a preserve of the National Citizenship and Immigration Board (NCIB) at the Directorate of Citizenship and Immigration Control (DCIC), Ministry of Internal Affairs, Kampala. However, subject to minor administrative logistics, Uganda Missions abroad shall soon be able to issue dual citizenship certificates, as well as National Identity Cards.