The Department of Diaspora under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in partnership with Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) and Uganda Agribusiness Alliance (UAA) on Saturday convened an e-Conference hosted at Wapakabulo Hall, MOFA HQ.
The Conference which involved both physical and virtual participation attracted over 200 virtual participants all over the world with 50 physically present at MoFA headquarters.
During the Conference, there was a presentation of Uganda Diaspora Agribusiness Investor Awards to recognize and celebrate the success and achievements of the best Diasporas involved in the agribusiness industry in Uganda.
Three Ugandans were awarded as the best agribusiness investors with Sarah Kiyingi Kaweesa of Bio Jigsaw limited emerging as the best agribusiness investor.
Her business makes biomass products made from agricultural products extracting fibres from banana stems (a staple food crop) and make hair and 9 other products with super dealers in major markets in the world.
The business has potential not only for reducing waste but increase farmers' earnings, support the country's import substitution strategy and empowereing thousands of women and youth who derive their living from hair products.
Lydia Nakayenze Schubert of OncaPlanta (U) Ltd emerged second best while Andrew Bamugye of Destiny Farms Limited emerged third.
OncaPlanta processes drugs from medicinal trees, with a research firm in Germany and the production is done in Uganda, while Destiny Farms Limited runs a poultry business and is diversifying into animal feeds.
Among the key dignatories and speakers at the E-Conference included; Dickson Ogwang who represented the PS MoFA, Commissioner Yofesi Ogwang who represented PS, Ministry of Agriculture. Other are; Hon. Dr. Victoria Sekitoleko - Representative of UN FAO and Uganda Agribusiness Alliance, Dr. Antonio Querido - FAO Country Representative, Uganda and Amb. Hajji Walusimbi Abbey - Senior Presidential Advisor on Diaspora Affairs.
This event is in fulfilment of Diaspora Department's core objective which is to mobilize the Uganda Diaspora for National Growth and Development. Diaspora Department falls under International Economic Cooperation Directorate of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
"We are working on achieving mindset transformation that will encourage our Diaspora to bring back home the right skills, necessary technology and financing that will promote investment in the various sectors of the economy to facilitate rapid growth and development. We believe that with the right skills, needed technology and financing, we shall achieve great improvement in not only the quantity of our products but also the quality as there will be value addition on our products to be able to attract and retain good markets with great pricing both within the local markets, the region and in the global market," Dickson Ogwang said.
He added," We shall also be able to improve on the quality of our population as the various industries will provide job opportunities for our youth who will transform from redundancy, hooliganism and criminal behavious to productive and responsible citizens. We are cognizant of the fact that as long as we have a huge population of those who have nothing to lose, who have lost hope for a better life tomorrow, it will become even harder to get rid of the kids of rioters who floods our streets in the guise of demonstrating for democracy yet in actual sense many are opportunists looking for survival."