Greetings fellow Ugandans,
UNAA will soon be celebrating it’s 30 year anniversary in Seattle and I will be honored to lead the way if elected President to open the next chapter of our organization. With over 50,000 Ugandans living in North America, we have a wealth of resources and human capital to be a powerful economic block.
I made the decision to run for UNAA President to present a vision aimed at reawakening the potential we have in our communities. This new agenda will transform UNAA into an economic engine that will empower our communities in the Diaspora and Uganda. With your support, resources and innovativeness, we can turn these ideas into reality.
1. Introducing the UNAA Group of Companies. The fact that UNAA is a 501(c)(3) non profit organization limits the scope of initiatives the organization can embark on economically and politically. As a result we shall push for the separation of UNAA into two branches. The nonprofit branch will continue to run the charity and convention while the UNAA group of companies will be privately owned and offer Ugandans investment opportunities as shareholders. As UNAA grows stronger financially, we shall be able to invest in our Diaspora communities and Uganda.
2. Adding value to the UNAA membership. We shall grow the UNAA membership by restructuring and delivering new benefits that are valuable and relevant to community members. The proposed three tier membership structure, shall offer more choice and value. Benefits shall include group life insurance, healthcare consultation, business and project website advertisement, monthly newsletter, convention registration credit, access to the emergency fund and the UNAA small loan program.
3. Marketplace for Uganda Business owners in the Diaspora. Through mobilizing Diaspora entrepreneurship, UNAA shall become the vault equipped with information and resources for all businesses, services and projects pioneered by Ugandans in the Diaspora. Advertising and marketing opportunities on UNAA platforms shall be free of charge for UNAA member owned businesses and projects. The objective of this initiative is to transform Ugandans in North America from job seekers into business owners.
4. UNAA mobile app We live in the era where information is at our fingertips accessible on mobile phones. The UNAA mobile app will centralize diaspora information such as job opportunities, local businesses, places of worship, immigration resources, real estate, mobile money transfer, education resources among other possibilities.
5. Emergency fund. Through crowd funding we can generate resources for UNAA members going through tough financial circumstances such as lack of housing, medical assistance, death in the family among other scenarios. UNAA was created to bring Ugandans in North America together and to look out for each other. The flooding in Houston, hurricanes in Florida, fires and landslides in California are examples where UNAA can step up, identify Ugandans that are impacted and offer assistance to members who have lost their livelihood.
6. UNAA office. Our current official UNAA address is Box 213 at a UPS store in Arlington, Massachusetts. In order for UNAA to grow our membership and capitalize on opportunities in North America, the organization must be run professionally. This office will be a place where our community members can seek assistance, make a phone call to get answers and have access to community resources. It’s imperative that we raise the profile of our organization to attract investors and sponsors.
7. Legal consultation. There many community members who are still undocumented and need access to legal resources. UNAA will filter and streamline this information for our community members. We shall also create a committee of legal minds to offer pro bono assistance to our members.
8. UNAA Youth Program. Our community has an abundance of professionals, experts, volunteers and mentors. This is a valuable resource base that can nurture and shape future generations of Ugandan youth in the Diaspora. Opportunities shall include career guidance, resume building, scholarships, college application guidance, interviewing best practices in addition to professional development.
9. A voice for Ugandans in the Diaspora. Our community is often impacted by policies such as immigration, healthcare and education but lack representation. If we adopt a new structure, UNAA shall have the ability to organize, mobilize and lobby on behalf of our membership. The same applies to policy changes in Uganda where the Diaspora often has no say. UNAA under my leadership will be a platform where Ugandans in the Diaspora make their voices heard.
Chinua Achebe once said that, ‘the sun will shine on those who stand before it shines on those who kneel under them.” I humbly request you to stand with me so that the sun can once again shine on our association. A vote for me is a vote for you and the future of our communities. UNAA was founded to have a footprint in our Diaspora communities all year round and together we can make it happen. Thank you for the support.
MESSAGE TO THE UNAA COUNCIL
One of the cornerstones of my vision for UNAA is a strong grassroots effort to organize and make sure UNAA impacts the lives of Ugandans in our North American Communities. According to article 7.2 of the UNAA Constitution, the Council members are our ambassadors on the ground to conduct outreach, support and mobilize UNAA members in their regions.
In order for my plans as UNAA President to revitalize UNAA’s role in our communities and have an impact, the UNAA Executive will advocate for the following:
● The UNAA Council members will be allocated funds to organize at least one community event per quarter. At this event the Council member will present the quarterly report to Ugandans in the local community they represent.
● The Executive will also recommend that Council members play a role in the gathering of information for Ugandan Businesses and community affiliated projects by Ugandans in their regions.This information will be made available on the UNAA website to promote entrepreneurship and mentorship opportunities for Ugandans
● The Council has a major role to play on the Diaspora affairs Committee which will be responsible for addressing policies that affect members in Uganda and the Diaspora. I will reach out to the Council speaker to nominate council representatives to serve on this committee.
● The UNAA mobile App will require data from the local communities to make it effective and relevant to the needs of members in the respective regions. As we improve the technology and offer more service, our ears and ambassadors on the ground will play a role of gathering and mobilizing their communities to take advantage of this technology.
● The executive will work with the Council to organize local chapters on a new UNAA website that will be launched to keep track of our membership and local organization initiatives. Our mission will be reaching all the 50,000 Ugandans in North America.
● The executive will work with the Youth representatives to develop a robust youth program and events that mobilize our young people. UNAA under my leadership will allocate resources for the annual youth day.
● As we create channels to assist Ugandans who are looking for work, immigration legal assistance, education programs and other resources, the Executive shall partner with the council members and local organizing committees to make these services accessible.
The UNAA Council is an independent organ which has its constitutional role and responsibilities. The UNAA Executive if I’m elected President will meet with the Council after the election to discuss and deliberate on this agenda to grow our organization.
MESSAGE TO THE UNAA BOARD OF TRUSTEES
Compliance. As a Pharmacy manager, compliance is a key part of my job description and I will work diligently with the UNAABoT to make sure UNAA meets all the federal and state regulations. In addition to that, as I roll out my ambitious manifesto, I will follow UNAA’s standard operating procedures to evaluate and reaffirm that UNAA’s 501c3 status isn’t compromised and make sure UNAA leaders follow laws regulations and ethical practices that govern our association.
Financial accountability. UNAA needs to establish a fiscal policy that governs how finances, contracts and transactions are conducted. I will institute a robust fiscal policy to make sure (a) There is tight control of who has access to UNAA’s Bank accounts. (b) A streamlined process for all transactions on UNAA’s debit cards (c) All quarterly financial reports and statements are completed and presented to the leadership and our members. UNAA will be run in a transparent and professional manner with zero tolerance for incompetence.
Legal matters. One of my first order of business will be addressing the legal wrangles UNAA has been entangled in for years. The financial burden on UNAA has been significant and commitment to put it to bed will be my priority. As a leader of the Executive team, I will likewise champion the importance of using UNAA’s institutions in all matters and refrain from external arbitration.
Harmonization. While we were drafting the harmonization committee report, one of the key issues we touched on was solidifying the role of the UNAA Board of Trustees as the organization arbiters. It’s also important for the trustees to embrace the role of educating the membership and leaders to understand the constitution and abide with the bylaws. By having a streamlined structure, UNAA will overcome the
The above are some of the primary issues that I plan to address with the Board of Trustees if elected UNAA President. I acknowledge the work they have accomplished the last few years to keep UNAA afloat and you can count on a hard working, ethical and vigilant partner to lead the UNAA Executive.