Overview & Mandate
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 under 30% 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 members planning to invest at home.
Diaspora in Switzerland: The actual number of the Diaspora community in Switzerland is yet to be determined; however most members live around the major cities like Geneva, Zurich and Berne, a handful of other members live in Fribourg, Basel, St Gallen, Aargau, Winterthur, Lucerne, Baden 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. During 2022, we had three webinars on investments and investment climate and more webinars are lined up for the 2023 season.
In working closely with the Diaspora community under the two associations: Ugandan Voice in Switzerland (UVIS) & Association of Ugandans in Switzerland (ASUGAS),and a recently founded Investment Forum (UGIIS with a focus on bridging the investment gap and maximise the positive impacts of remittances of the Diaspora living in Switzerland and beyond, the Mission hopes that these initiatives shall help bring the diaspora together in pursuit of shared goals. The Mission continues to invite and encourage full diaspora participation through these various forums with more activities lined up in 2023.
The Permanent Representative (PR) as the Patron for the Associations is available to advise and support these various initiatives and proposals for the good of the country and the Diaspora community in Switzerland.
Uganda’s Charge D’Affairs and Diaspora at the Uganda Mission, 2021
Mission outreach to Bern, Nov 21