Diaspora Services

In recognition of the substantial role the diaspora plays in development in terms of financial contribution and in flow of skills and knowledge, The Diaspora Services Department at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs MOFA was established in 2007 to serve as a coordination point for various Diaspora issues, offering a wide range of services to the large population of Ugandans in the Diaspora and their relatives at home (Uganda).


According to a recent UNDP report, there are more than 2 million Ugandan citizens (Diaspora) that live and work abroad, but only 30% of them contribute to national development. Furthermore, those meagre contributions are not even channelled in the best possible way for development purposes.

By inference therefore, a lot of untapped resources still lies within the diaspora, thus the importance of tapping both the financial and non-financial contributions from the diaspora is imperative.

Government is endeavouring to create an enabling environment whereby the diaspora is able to channel resources to the right places as well as addressing the multitude of bottlenecks and challenges faced by the diaspora that plan to invest in the home country.


Diaspora in Switzerland 


Uganda’s Charge D’Affairs and a Diaspora team meet at the Uganda Mission





Diaspora meeting, Berne Nov 21


Diaspora numbers in various capitals is elusive due to a number of reasons: in Switzerland for instance, the diaspora presence is estimated at well over 1000 spread mainly in Geneva, Zurich and Berne. In addition, there is a handful of others living in cities like Fribourg, Basel, St Gallen and Lausanne.

The Permanent Mission of Uganda in Geneva is vigorously engaging the Diaspora for both social and economic development. In the past year alone, and in spite of the raging Covid-19 pandemic, a number of initiatives and in-roads were made in a bid to reinvigorate diaspora engagement.


Online zoom meetings in addition to two face to face meetings were conducted in Geneva and Berne. Further activities have been lined up for this year especially with the improving Covid-19 situation. Engagement through dissemination and information sharing is on the uptick, coupled with online conferences, trainings and webinars.

We hope that these initiatives shall help bring the diaspora together in pursuit of our shared goals.

The Permanent Mission of Uganda in Geneva, through this media, invites and encourages full diaspora participation through their associations and Forums. Ugandan Voice in Switzerland (UVIS) & Association of Ugandans in Switzerland (ASUGAS).  In addition, there is a recently founded Investment Forum (UGSI) that hopes to bridge the investment gap and maximise the positive impacts of remittances of the Diaspora living in Switzerland and beyond.

Diaspora Investment

In a bid to promote Diaspora Investment, a Compendium of Investment and Business Opportunities in Uganda that details cost estimates of starting up businesses in different sectors in the country was produced by the Uganda Investment Authority (UIA) with UNDP’s financial and technical support under the project “Capacity Building for Strengthening Diaspora Resource Mobilization and Utilization”. It aims to inform Ugandans in the diaspora about the existing investment opportunities in all sectors, and the legal requirements of starting and operating a business successfully.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has widely circulated the Compendium to Ugandans living abroad and to foreign missions in a bid to sensitize and to support the Diaspora on actual investment opportunities back home.

The Uganda Investment Authority has also compiled a number of Diaspora success stories, from health sector to corporate businesses, Agro-Businesses, hotel enterprises and many more. These success stories serve as a point of reference as well as an encouragement and example to those that still have fear to invest back home.

In addition, MOFA has, in conjunction with partners and other stakeholders like FAO, UIA, Min of Agriculture and various Financial Institutions been able to organize online discussions, webinars and conferences to further disseminate information, discus available investment opportunities as well as show-case active diaspora ventures, highlighting both the success and challenges.

The Ministry of Agriculture in a 2021 conference with the diaspora expressed their willingness to work with the diaspora and promised to soon come up with a compendium of agrobusiness bankable projects to the diaspora.

The Permanent Mission of Uganda in Geneva shall continue engaging with the Diaspora to ensure that they are in line with strategic goals in the advancement and promotion of Trade, Investment and Tourism. The Mission shall also be supportive of both group and individual Diaspora proposals channelled for the purposes of socio-economic development.

Diaspora Policy

In further promoting Diaspora engagement and Investment, a Diaspora Policy supported by UNDP's Diaspora project is currently being developed by MOFA in conjunction with and in consultation with the Diaspora. Whereas it is still at the Regulatory Impact Assessment stage, its hoped that once completed, it is expected to smooth some of these rough patches and make it easier for Ugandans living abroad to invest back home and contribute to the socio-economic and political development of the country. 


Diaspora Annual Events:


    1. Home is Best Summit and the Social Networking Event

These are annual events that are organized by Uganda Investment Authority and Diaspora Services Department / MOFA. They take place in Uganda every December. They target the Ugandan Diaspora who are in country for the Christmas holiday. The Diaspora are taken on a tour of different developments with in different regions of Uganda. Presentations on investment opportunities are made and also, the Diaspora are given an opportunity to share their ideas with government and the public at large.


    1. Independence Day Celebrations 9 October (Geneva, Berne). This years celebration took place on 5 November 2022 with over 200 celebrants, the most of any similar celebration ever.


    1. Swiss Independence Day 1 August (Swiss friends, in-laws, colleagues at work etc. to show-case Uganda’s’ Culture in the foods, art & dance etc.)



    1. Christmas seasonal get-together


    1. Youth/Children’s Day