The Uganda Ministry of Foreign Affairs the country’s missions abroad says it has contributed over Shs50 billion to the country in the last five years, just it disclosed that it owns 38 properties across abroad.
This ministry also stated that to contributes to the growth of its tourism sector, it has engaged in the promotion the country’s tourist sites while facilitating investments abroad in the areas of agriculture processing, energy, Oil and Gas and tourism.
According to chimpreports.com, the State Minister for Foreign Affairs, Okello Oryem, said that Uganda owns 38 properties abroad noting that government has constructed a number Chancery buildings in various countries.
During the period under review, he said the Ministry has completed the construction of a Chancery and two staff apartments in Kigali – Rwanda and also completed the construction of a Chancery in Bujumbura.
“The Ministry has completed the construction of a Consular and guard house in Dar es Salaam, completed the construction of 7 prefabricated accommodation units for staff in Mogadishu, started on the construction of a Chancery in Juba, renovated the former Chancery in Kinshasa now a commercial property generating Shs. 924 million per year,” he said.
Oryem also noted that Foreign Affairs Ministry renovated Official residences in Copenhagen, Brussels; and Chanceries in Washington and Dar es Salaam as well as the Uganda House in New York.
He added that the Ministry acquired land (5 acres) in Guangzhou (China) and Dodoma (Tanzania) for the construction of Chanceries/Official Residences.
Cross Border Movement
Oryem reported that presently, there is use of national identity cards across the three states of Uganda, Kenya and Rwanda, adding that there is free movement of labour and free movement of services, stop Border Posts along the Northern Corridor.
Regarding foreign policy coordination and deepening of Uganda’s efforts in regional integration, Oryem highlighted various achievements that include; border reaffirmation and demarcation between Uganda – DRC, Uganda – TZ and Uganda – South Sudan.
He further said that Uganda continues to host the United Nations Regional Service Centre in Entebbe which the UN, a few ago, wanted to relocate to Kenya.
Promotion of Tourist Sites
Oryem said that his Ministry has endeavored to promote tourist sites to attract more tourists in Uganda as part of the Ministry’s economic and commercial diplomacy in order to earn more from the tourism sector.
“Tourism revenues have grown from US$1.37 billion in 2016 to US$1.453 billion in 2017 and reached US$ 1.6 billion in 2018. The Ministry, through its missions abroad, continues to participate in the following major exhibitions to showcase tourism products: China International Tourism Industry Expo (CITIE), Annual World Travel Market in London UK, ITB Berlin and Indaba-South Africa among others,” he said.
Sourcing Scholarships and Apprenticeships for Ugandan Youth
“The Ministry secured over 832 short and long term scholarships in various fields. An agreement was signed with the Government of Hungary for the construction of; Vocational Training Centers in refugee camps of Kyenjojo district and three vocational colleges in Kween, Kyankwanzi and Sironko district among others.
Limkokwing Vocational University at Namataba – Mukono District has also been established,” Oryem said.
He further revealed that a Memorandum of Understanding on labour export was negotiated with the United Arab Emirates, 16 -17 February 2019.
Coordinating with Relevant MDAs to Attract Investors
The Minister said his Ministry has coordinated with a number of Ministries, Departments and Agencies to attract more investors in order to widen the tax base and raise more revenue without raising taxes.
In conjunction with the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development and multilateral frameworks, Oryem said, his Foreign Affairs Ministry secured a grant worth Japanese Yen 2.86 billion from Japan for the Northern Uganda Medical Facilities Improvement Project.
“The Missions Abroad, through their activities, have contributed over Shs 50 billion to the Consolidated Fund for the period under review.”
“An Embassy was opened in Qatar in the FY 2018/19 to facilitate investments from Qatar in the areas of agriculture processing, energy, Oil and Gas and tourism.”
Oryem further said a Consulate was established in Mombasa in 2016 to facilitate trade and movement of Ugandan goods through the port of Mombasa.
Implementation of Commitments on Diaspora and Consular Services
According to the World Bank, in 2018, the Diaspora contributed USD 1.23 Billion to Uganda’s economy compared to USD 1.16 billion in 2017.
This, Oryem said, makes remittances from abroad as the highest foreign exchange earner for the country followed by Gold at 1.69 billion dollar and Coffee at USD 416 million.