Rt. Hon Rebecca Kadaga foremost thanked the speakers and panellists as well as the attendants.
She summarised the 7th Convention UK 2017 by touching on areas that she felt people required assurance.
On Dual Citizenship, she affirmed that the Uganda parliament was a good partner. Ample time had been taken to discuss this issue and finally they were getting somewhere. People were free to get dual nationality, however, it was important to note that there were some countries, like German, that do not allow this. She further assured that by April next year, there would be operational centres to enable individuals to register, in the Nordic, the UK and Washington.
Hon Kadaga regrettably noted that the recently concluded registration programme in Boston and the UK was not well publicised, so people were not aware. She instructed the Ministry of Internal Affairs to ensure that next time, such would be publicised ahead of time so that people knew. She further stated that the Uganda Missions would be training their staff to manage the registration.
Therefore, there would be no need to get persons from Kampala.
Kadaga appealed to Ugandans in the Diaspora to accept the government proposed fee of $400 and to pay it just as a contribution to Uganda.”
She also promised that online registrations would start early next year, enabling Uganda Missions to issue citizenships. Hon Kadaga further guaranteed that National ID centres would also be established to enable Ugandans who come of age while abroad get their National for example; all children who turned 18.
She appreciated the fact that re-applying for citizenship was something painful to people but one should remember that abandoning citizenship has consequences too. Sighting example of the hefty fees paid to apply for the UK citizenship which was £315 to £1005 and was still increasing, same case payment in America. She appealed to Ugandans in the Diaspora to accept the government proposed fee of $400 and to pay it just as a contribution to Uganda. She reminded Ugandans in UK that they were also paying allegiance to the Queen when applying for UK citizenship therefore denouncing their original citizenships had consequences too.
She promised to tackle in parliament issues like corruption, strengthening accountability systems, inefficiencies within Uganda Revenue Authority, limited value addition, the negative publicity about the country and that the land bill for example which was currently being looked at by the committee.
She concluded by appreciating Lord Popat who stressed that investing in Uganda was a unique opportunity. Queries from the Head of Trade, Uganda, Department for International Trade, British High Commission who wanted support for British investment in Uganda would be addressed. She however, argued the same for Ugandan investors to be supported by the British not only for Government programmes.
Uganda was waiting to hear what would come after the Brexit and was ready to welcome any opportunities.
She appreciated Dr. Clarke who was leading by example; for instance, he was doing so much in the country in agriculture, health, tourism, construction to mention a few.
She assured Lord Popat that she would follow up on issues he raised.
All opportunities would be looked at in order to galvanise, to create more employment opportunities for a better country. She thanked everyone for coming and closed the 7th Convention 2017.