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UNAA Causes to tout Ugandan products

UNAA Causes wants foods like Luwombo sold abroad

At this year’s festival slated for August 30 to September 3 in Washington DC, the Uganda North America Association (UNAA) Causes, wants to do things differently.

This group of Ugandans living in North America will use the upcoming annual convention to tout their native country’s products. David Muwanga, the chief executive officer of UNAA Causes, says they will use the scheduled culture and fashion shows to infuse their entrepreneurial agenda.

After last year’s festival, the group leaders formed an Entrepreneurship Club, which has since crystalized an investment programme.

“We are seriously looking at the possibility of starting a restaurant chain offering Ugandan foods. Such a venture will not only bring revenue to our motherland but also promote the image and brand of Uganda,” Muwanga explained in an interview with The Observer online.

He said some Asian and Ethiopian communities in the diaspora have successfully used such gatherings to market their native products such as traditional foods while growing the economies back home.

Ugandans in the Diaspora sent home more Shs 4 trillion in remittances by the end of last year, according to Bank of Uganda estimates.

In comparison to their Asian and Ethiopian counterparts in the diaspora, Muwanga notes that Ugandans have not bothered to do businesses that promote their country.

“For instance, why don’t we have any Ugandan food restaurant on the main streets of major cities in the US? You can only find Ethiopian and Indian eateries; so, we want to venture there as a group and exploit the opportunities,” Muwanga said.

Founded in 2013, UNAA Causes’ annual convention has grown by leaps and bounds, becoming one of the most popular diaspora gatherings in North America.

Previously, such diaspora meetings have been used by politicians and national parastatals to promote their interests. However, UNAA Causes Chairman James Sserumaga says they will offer an alternative approach at this year’s event, with emphasis on delegates enjoying their holiday as they network.

During the three-day event, delegates will enjoy a cruise dinner, a culture and fashion show as well as live music performances from Ugandan artistes. Organisers have also lined up a tour option around Washington’s key landmarks, including the White House, National Museum of African Americans, National Mall, National Air & Space Museum, among others.

“We will not have the usual long speeches from politicians and others because we want people to get value for their money,” Sserumaga said.

The fashion show will feature Uganda’s local designers such as Santa Anzo, Anita Beryl Ahikiriza and Fatuma Nakaziba as well as regional competitors from Rwanda and Kenya.

mugalu@observer.ug

Comments

+1 #1 nkuutu kibedi 2018-05-15 14:03
"In comparison to their Asian and Ethiopian counterparts in the diaspora, Muwanga notes that Ugandans have not bothered to do businesses that promote their country."

Two issues here Mr Muwanga: 1: which of those two areas mentioned is as corrupt as Uganda?

2: How many businesses have you as Muwanga set up in Uganda which you can show as encouragement for the diaspora to invest in Uganda.

Please, stop this NRM lip-service and come down to earth. Uganda is so corrupt that people in the diaspora have ven stopped trusting their own relatives!

There is no way a Ugandan is going to invest in Uganda unless he/she will supervise that investment on the ground. Which is logistically not easy.

Muwanga is just trying to score points by making diasporans think that Uganda is a good investment. Not right now, no.

Get rid of that corrupt mindset, revisit your morale and try to make good on government promises, then maybe, and that is a maybe, the diaspora can invest in Uganda.
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+1 #2 Kemba Francis 2018-05-15 14:59
Something wrong with these even organizers. They never learn that’s why the organizations keep splitting.

First, how can you organize such an event in the DMV and all the hosts are from Uganda. How do you intend to follow up on projects yet the all lead hosts are from Uganda.

There are many brilliant young females in so many area of art, economics, health and leadership.

These UNAA guys have never tried to even have a community event to call on volunteers. That’s why you never have young people at these events. BTW we have already secured a protest permit for the MP who think they have earned to come here on a lavish vacation at the expense of Ugandans.
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0 #3 Kemba Francis 2018-05-15 18:18
Muwanga asks why we don’t have any Ugandan Restaurants in major cities, it takes lobbying and being proactive in the cities you live in.

I am from the DMV and believe me the only lobbyists I know that work on the interest of Ugandans are paid by the NRM.

They are about 5 of them that I know. When we have Ugandans delegates in town most of them have no clue of their role, like you said they are coming for a vacation not even networking or meeting legislators here.

No! All they do is stay in hotels and spend Uganda tax payers money. The conventions are not about Ugandans in the diaspora but a vacation for Ugandan elites and

“Qn, how many Ugandan fashion designers in the DMV has Muwanga contacted? He can’t even give the cooking gig to Little Kampala our own local Restaurant.

He has imported comedians, MCs, and hosts from Uganda. Believe me if he had just contacted “Solo Bang Bang”, she would do a better job at a lower cost. Muganga’s priorities are in a wrong place just like UNAA.
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