Decent Rural Employment

Ugandan Diaspora Agribusiness Conference - FAO and the Government of Uganda collaborate to promote diaspora investments in agriculture


The second edition of the Ugandan Diaspora Agribusiness Conference, organized by FAO in collaboration with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA), took place in Kampala and online on 20 November 2021.

The conference brought together Ugandan diaspora agripreneurs and networks, youth agripreneurs, government institutions and private sector to discuss challenges and opportunities of investing in agribusiness, while also contributing to the formulation of the National Diaspora Policy and the setup of the first Uganda Diaspora in Agribusiness Network. FAO is currently leading the setup of the network with the aim of promoting Ugandan agribusiness opportunities abroad and facilitate diaspora inclusive policy dialogue. The network, which is currently made by diaspora agripreneurs residing in eight countries of destination, will be formalized in the first quarter of 2022.

Speaking at the Conference, the FAO Representative in Uganda, Mr. Antonio Querido, reaffirmed that diaspora engagement in productive sectors of the economy, such as agribusiness, can play a very significant role in the social and economic transformation of Uganda.

Ambassador Kamahungye, Director of the Regional and International Economic Affairs Directorate of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, stated that: “Promoting diaspora investment back home doesn’t help diaspora families alone but the whole country at a large”. He encouraged the diaspora to join the Uganda Diaspora in Agribusiness Network to collaborate, learn from each other, and contribute to the agribusiness sector of Uganda.

The first part of the conference was dedicated to the presentation of successful diaspora-led projects. Diaspora representatives shared their experiences with fellow diaspora members.

In the second session of the conference, Mr. Andrew Bamugye, from the Ugandan Diaspora in Agribusiness Network, presented the objective, structure and future plans of the network in order to collect feedbacks on the structure and its sustainability.

Finally, Mr. Opio Richard, from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, presented the process of the Regulatory Impact Assessment (RIA) of the Diaspora Policy and collected feedback from the diaspora. It was recommended to organize country specific virtual meetings to ensure significant diaspora contribution to the formulation of the policy.

In the closing remarks, diaspora members were represented by Ms. Pamela Anyoti, one of the winners of the 2020 Diaspora Agribusiness Awards organized by the FAO. Ms. Anyoti thanked FAO and the Government of Uganda for recognizing the efforts of the diaspora. “I had been awarded and recognized elsewhere as an agriprenuer but not in Uganda, until the FAO Diaspora Awards in 2020,” said Ms. Anyoti. 

Finally, Mr. Antonio Querido closed the conference by reaffirming FAO’s commitment to support diaspora contributions to agriculture and rural development.

Since 2019, FAO has been implementing the project “Strengthening Capacity to Harness Positive Effects of Migration” with the aim of boosting income-generating opportunities in agribusiness by tapping into the entrepreneurial potential of diaspora, while also fostering diaspora-inclusive policy dialogue. Through the project, FAO has organized two Diaspora Agribusiness Conferences, enhanced multi-stakeholder policy dialogue and facilitated the establishment of the Uganda Diaspora in Agribusiness Network.

FAO will continue to act as a bridge between diaspora and migration and agriculture stakeholders. In 2022, FAO will focus its efforts in formalizing the Ugandan diaspora agribusiness network and boosting diaspora investments and skills transfer into youth-led agribusiness through the organization of diaspora mentorship activities and agribusiness matching fora.