Uganda is gearing up for a historic event—the first-ever Uganda-Europe Convention (UEC), set to take place in the picturesque Spanish city of Malaga. This momentous gathering is expected to strengthen the already robust ties between Uganda and European nations. Before the main event in December, key figures from Uganda and around the world will convene on November 9 to discuss a wide array of topics that will shape the convention’s agenda.
Senior Presidential Advisor on Diaspora Affairs, Ambassador Abbey Walusimbi, expressed that the November 9 meeting is crucial for finalizing the details of the upcoming UEC. This gathering of senior government officials, foreign dignitaries, private sector representatives, and other stakeholders will delve into essential issues, including labor externalization, value addition, immigration policies, land acquisition, tax regulations, and knowledge transfer. These discussions will take place at the Office of the President in Kampala.
Walusimbi emphasized that the UEC is an invaluable platform to establish strategic partnerships in trade, tourism, and investment. It will focus on exploring the labor markets within the European continent, with the aim of diversifying Uganda’s economy and creating new employment opportunities. This convention is envisioned to be an annual event that will bring together industrialists and entrepreneurs, ultimately boosting the value of Ugandan exports to Europe, particularly in the agricultural sector.
While the inaugural UEC in 2023 will be hosted at the luxurious AC Palacio Hotel in Spain, organizers plan for future forums to rotate among European countries. This strategy aims to broaden the reach of the convention and engage the Ugandan diaspora in matters related to their safety and the value addition of raw materials from Uganda, a nation with a population of over 45 million.
Ambassador Walusimbi sees this initiative as an integral part of President Museveni’s vision for wealth and job creation, particularly in sectors like commercial agriculture, factories, services, and information communication & technology.
Paul Juuko Kingsley, the lead organizer of UEC, added that the convention’s objective is to foster strong connections between Ugandans in Europe and those in their home country. It will serve as a social network focused on enhancing entrepreneurship and innovation, furthering the wealth and job creation goals.
The Ugandan government firmly believes that the UEC will not only enhance entrepreneurship but also project Uganda as a global hub for tourism, investment, and innovation. Uganda has traditionally maintained strong ties with various European powers, making the convention an important platform for strengthening these relations.