Saturday, September 26, 2009

The unappreciated Value of Ugandans in the Diaspora!

Ugandans demonstrate against M7 at the UN headquarters in NY September 23, 2009!

President Museveni's press spokesman, Tamale Mirundi, recently characterized Ugandans that demonstrated against M7 at the UN headquarters in New York as agitators and "economic refugees enjoying other peoples freedom instead of fighting for their own at home."

Mr. Mirundi should read some recent history of despot regimes now relegated to the garbege heap of history. The harbinger to their demise often starts with demonstrations like this that rally their countrymen to action. Despots often try to suppress such demonstrations exactly as M7's security forces did in Uganda. The chairman of the East African Editors Forum & Director, The Media Institute expressed similar sentiments in an open letter to M7.

The demonstrators Mr. Mirundi characterizes as economic refugees in fact fund Uganda's economy through remittances to their families and relatives. Without these remittances some Ugandans would be going without basic necessities. In a recent article in The Boston Globe, about a thriving Ugandan community here: one Ugandan expressed the following: “There is a much bigger influx of Ugandans now than ever before leaving the country,’’ he said. “Unfortunately, Uganda has not really seen meaningful progress. There are no employment opportunities. People are forced to leave.’’

According to the World Bank reports, "International migration has enormous implications for growth and welfare in both origin and destination countries." The money migrants contribute to their countries is twice as much as world governments contribute every year in the form of foreign aid!

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