By Our Reporter
The Executive Director of Oxfam International Winnie Byanyima has urged the Ugandan government to consider granting a parliamentary seat and a ministerial position to the Ugandans leaving in Diaspora.
While delivering a keynote address at the closure of the 25th Uganda North America Association Convention (UNAA) in USA, Byanyima said that there is need to for these two slots for the Diasporas to contribute to the development of Uganda and contribute in the policy formulation.
“Some smart countries have done this. Uganda should consider appointing a minister for the Ugandans diaspora to ensure that huge resource is contributing across all the sectors of government” Byanyima said.
She added that there is need to have policies implemented that facilitate the movement of the people living outside Uganda and having these positions would greatly contribute to this.
She also said that it is also time to give Ugandans their political rights to vote using technology from where they are around the world. She pointed out that 115 countries around the world grant this right to their citizens living away to take part in the local elections and Uganda needs to get on board.
“It is time for Africa and Uganda too, to give Diasporas their political rights and vote from wherever they are. Sometimes, our governments when there is technology to shorten distances between us, they put in place policies to even make it longer. We need to be facilitated to take part wherever we might be. Distance should not be a problem” she added.
Byanyima also called on the Ugandans living in the diaspora to not only make their skills available to the countries that host them but also to Uganda. She added that there is need to make policies that enable people to return skills to the countries where they come from and unlock what they can do.