The Office of the President has appointed businessman Ali Saleh O Alswayeh as Uganda’s overseas employment, trade and investment honorary envoy to Saudi Arabia, Omani and Bahrain.
The businessman who doubles as the chairman of the of innovation committee on recruitment in the Saudi Arabian Ministry of Labour arrived into the country early this week on the invitation of the Senior Presidential Advisor on Diaspora Affairs, Amb. Abbey Walusimbi.
The decision to designate Alswayeh follows his contribution towards the protection of the rights of Uganda’s migrant workers in Saudi Arabia and his desire to market Uganda as a trade and investment destination.
He is credited for having rescued and took care of 1000 Ugandan migrant workers who were stranded at different Airports in Saudi Arabia and later accommodated them for 11months during the first wave of COVID 19 lockdown .
He later chattered flights for them, paid their quarantine expenses and gave them some start up finances.
While handing him the appointment letter on behalf of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Amb. Elly Kamahungye commended Ali Saleh’s love for Uganda adding that the appointment is a sign that President Museveni values and rewards those who stand up for his bazzukulu.
Kamahungye recommended that as part of his first assignments under the investment docket, Ali should attract an investor to help set up an abattoir that produces Halal beef both for local consumption and export, saying that this can be transported by sea or air.
On this Ali said he had already picked interest in the long horned Ankole cattle beef which is said to have the lowest levels of cholesterol.
Earlier on, Ali held a meeting with the Minister of Trade Francis Mwebesa who implored him to create market for Uganda’s agricultural products like avocado, coffee, watermelon and other fresh fruits in Saudi Arabia.
In response, the businessman said that as part of his first mission in his new office, he will tap into his vast connections and entice them to invest in Uganda’s agricultural sector which is rich given the country’s fertile soils.
“Many of our people that are employing Ugandans have heard about Uganda’s fertile soils and its fruits. However, they didn’t know where to start from. Now that I have been given this responsibility, I am going to anchor Uganda to those companies and individuals I know that import these products heavily,” Ali said.
He noted that his role won’t be too hard since Saudi Arabians are now conversant with the Ugandan culture after many of them have employed Ugandan home managers, a labour force that is ranked highly resilient and disciplined.
An appreciation dinner was later hosted at Serena hotel, in celebration of his new responsibility which was attended by the Minister of Gender ,Betty Amongi, Minister for Kampala City Authority Minsa Kabanda, Minister of Public Service Wilson Muruli Mukasa, Senior Presidential adviser on Special Duties Grace Kabayo among other dignitaries.
Amongi applauded Ali for being exemplary in the way he protects the Ugandan nationals in Saudi Arabia.
She said that the Office of the President couldn’t have chosen a better person for the job and promised to support him in the execution of his overseas employment envoy work docket.
Ambassador Abbey Walusimbi expressed gratitude to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for employing many Ugandans because they are contributing positively to the country’s economy.
” Although Ali Alswayeh is being appreciated, he is also here in his other capacity as a global investor, and seeks investment opportunities in Uganda’s trade, tourism and agriculture sectors.Ali is passionate about promoting Uganda’s coffee and is keen to heavily invest in digital classes for health trainees especially nurses and midwives.”
Walusimbi added that the Office of the President will continue to source for more people with the vision as Ali in all the destinations where “ President Museveni’ s Bazzukulu” live and work, because he is committed to ensure that they are safe.
Presidential advisor, Grace Kabayo appreciated Amb. Walusimbi for not disappointing the president in advancing for the rights of diasporas.
He urge Ali to be result oriented and deliver as expected.
Ali was later received by the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Okello Oryem.