UGANDAN AFRO-ASIAN YOUTHS

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Ugandan Afro Asians Youths Forum (UAAY) was conceived as a project by AGABA to offer key platform for deeper relations and interaction.

UAAY aims at developing initiatives and programs that promote social, economic and political engagements, and dialogue. In consideration of pertinent concerns as prescribed so far the UAAY developed the following objectives:

  • Promote meaningful interracial integration
  • Promote understanding of the value of all sections of people in nation building
  • Increased engagements to address the challenges of both youths
  • Work with all stakeholders to address Citizenship concerns
  • Reinforce government on Ugandan Asians return home campaign
  • Awareness outreach including charity work

Integration

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Further to the World Conference plan of action under the youths provision. States are urged to encourage and facilitate the establishment and maintenance of youth mechanisms, set up by youth organizations and young women and men themselves, in the spirit of combating racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance, through such activities as:

  • disseminating and exchanging information and building networks to these ends;
  • organizing awareness-raising campaigns and participating in multicultural education programmes;
  • developing proposals and solutions, where possible and appropriate;
  • cooperating and consulting regularly with non-governmental organizations and other actors in civil society in developing initiatives and programmes that promote intercultural exchange and dialogue;

The value of people and humanity

The UAAY realise that all human beings are born free, equal in dignity and rights and have the potential to contribute constructively to the development and well -being of their societies. Any discrimination is morally condemnable, socially unjust and dangerous, and must be rejected along with theories which attempt to claim the existence of superior races.

The value of synergy of all the communities in nation building does not need to be emphasised. Uganda’s experience in the aftermath of the 1972 expulsion of the Ugandan Asians is evidence enough. As youths therefore UAAY seek to bring to bear the social, economic and political potential of all the people.

We are inspired by the Late Lucky Dube advocacy for deferent colour, one people nation ideal for South Africa. May The Good Lord rest his soul in eternal peace! In accordance with the same ideals South Africa is generally a leading economy on the African Continent.

Elsewhere on the Globe, the United States of America is another model.  Her first Lady and the President are a leaving testimony in a multicultural and multiracial environment. USA is a World Superpower. One is black while the other is mixed race respectively.

Africa instead got it wrong in the case post-independent era. Leaders especially in East Africa embarked on the infamous nationalism schemes culminating in the expulsion of Asians in the case of Uganda. But Africa remained synonymous with backwardness. Uganda’s economy just collapsed. Hence the absolving of the Ugandan Asians whom Amin had accused of economic blood suckers in justification for his action. Today with only a few of the Ugandan Asians that have returned, 60% of the economy is generally their contribution.

It is also well known that before the expulsion of the Ugandan Asians Uganda’s GDP was at the same level with the Asian economies now referred to as Asian Tigers including Malaysia and South Korea. The Madhivan Group alone accounted for 12% of the economy.

Contributing to the motion in the House of Lords of UK moved by the noble Lord Popat on behalf of fellow Ugandan Asians two years ago, the Senior Minister of state, Department for Communities and Local Government & Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Warsi) mentioned a number of notable successful Ugandan Asians. He further revealed that in a global race the races from around the globe that make up their diverse nation were the secret weapon of Britain. Amazingly, within the House there were four Ugandan Asians-the Noble Baroness, Lady Vadera, the Noble Lord Sheikh, and the Lord Popat.

Challenges of the Youths

The issues of youths are as old as humanity. But youths regardless of race have a lot in common largely informed by a common social, political and economic environment or background. However, there are key concerns in each epoch of history. It is this reality that calls for the UAAY towards a common destiny.

Issues in 21st Century are far much different from the past although in many cases cannot be delinked.  We note with great concern that the interaction between the two sides of the youths is hitherto limited owing to the crisis of confidence largely informed by various factors that are not insurmountable.

Leaders including the colonial masters are also responsible. This interaction gives us the opportunity to consider, deliberate and chart the way forward.

Citizenship Concerns

While urging everyone to register for national identity cards AGABA as an NGO is recognize the dilemma faced by the Ugandan Asians both here in the country and the Diaspora as to their status of citizenship. Indeed there are adverse implications for each choice of citizenship in their case. It is a primary concern for whatever engagements considering the traumatizing past under Iddi Amin. The organization together with the key stakeholders will pursue the police a sound policy framework to enhance the confidence. Both the national and international instruments will be brought to the attention of government with reference to the World Conference declarations and plan of action against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance.

 Ugandan Asians Return Home Campaign

The goodwill efforts by the government that has seen His Excellency the President reach out to call for the return of Ugandan Asians is considered an inspiring gesture. The UAAY are already engaging the diaspora on social network as follow-up. Arrangements for physical engagements both in the country and outside are already in progress. We however recognize the effort of others already doing so. We just wish to do the same but in a deferent way and zeal.

Outreach including charity work

It is common knowledge for reasons aforementioned that the Asians in the country are considered introverts at a personal level and a closed society at another level. It is against this background that the UAAY will reach out to communities at grassroots as a way of promoting interaction as well as integration through charity work