Saturday, November 6, 2010

Uganda-bound flows to rise modestly in 2010

News Release
Remittances to Africa Resilient Despite
Global Financial Crisis – World Bank Study
Uganda-bound flows to rise modestly in 2010
WASHINGTON, November 8, 2010 – Remittance flows to Sub-Saharan Africa will reach US$21.5 billion this year after a small decrease in 2009 due to the global financial crisis, according to Migration and Remittances Factbook 2011, a World Bank publication that tracks documented private transfers of funds and migratory patterns around the world.
The book shows that Africa-bound flows fell by about four percent between 2008 and 2009, marking the first decrease since 1995.
“We estimate that recovery will continue over the next two years, with remittance flows to the continent possibly reaching about US$24 billion by 2012,” said Dilip Ratha, manager of the Migration and Remittances unit at the World Bank.
Ratha cautions that these numbers are gross underestimates, because millions of Africans rely on informal channels to send money home.
Worldwide, remittance flows are expected to reach US$440 billion by end-2010, up from US$416 billion in 2009. About three-quarters of these funds, or US$325 billion, will go to developing countries. The World Bank estimates that flows to developing countries as a whole will rise further over the next two years, possibly exceeding US$370 billion by 2012.
Remittances to Uganda will reach an estimated US$773 million in 2010, up from US$694 million the previous year.
“Remittances are a critical lifeline for families and entire communities across Africa, especially in the aftermath of the global crisis,” Ratha said. “The fact that remittances are so large, come in foreign currency, and go directly to households, means that these transfers have a significant impact on poverty reduction, funding for housing and education, basic essential needs, and even business investments.”
There is a pressing need to make it easier and cheaper to send and receive remittances in Africa. The average cost of sending money to Africa is more than 10 percent, the highest among all the regions. The cost of sending money within Africa is even higher.
In absolute dollars, Nigeria is by far the top remittance recipient in Africa, accounting for US$10 billion in 2010, a slight increase over the previous year (US$9.6 billion). Other top recipients include Sudan (US$3.2 billion), Kenya (US$1.8 billion), Senegal (US$1.2 billion), South Africa (US$1.0 billion), Uganda (US$0.8 billion), Lesotho (US$0.5 billion), Ethiopia (US$387 million), Mali (US$385 million), and Togo (US$302 million).
As a share of gross domestic product, the top recipients in 2009 were: Lesotho (25 percent), Togo (10 percent), Cape Verde (9 percent), Guinea-Bissau (9 percent), Senegal (9 percent), Gambia (8 percent), Liberia (6 percent), Sudan (6 percent), Nigeria (6 percent), and Kenya (5 percent).

Migration Trends
The book estimates that nearly 22 million Sub-Saharan Africans have left the continent. Africa also has a higher intra-regional migration rate than the rest of the developing world, with three out of four African migrants living in another country in Sub-Saharan Africa.
In general, islands and fragile or conflict-afflicted states have the highest rates of skilled emigrants. Nationals who attended university and left their country the most are from Cape Verde (68 percent), Gambia (63 percent), Mauritius (56 percent), Seychelles (56 percent), Sierra Leone (53 percent), Ghana (47 percent), Mozambique (45 percent), Liberia (45 percent), Kenya (38 percent), and Uganda (36 percent).

Africa’s most dynamic migration corridors are Burkina Faso–Côte d’Ivoire (1.3 million migrants), Zimbabwe–South Africa (0.9 million), and Côte d’Ivoire–Burkina Faso (0.8 million). Others include Uganda–Kenya, Eritrea–Sudan, Mozambique–South Africa, Mali–Côte d’Ivoire, the Democratic Republic of Congo–Rwanda, Lesotho–South Africa, and Eritrea–Ethiopia.

Over 757,000 Ugandans are living outside their country of birth in 2010. Among the tertiary-educated population, 36 percent are living outside Uganda as of 2000. About 36 percent of physicians trained in Uganda emigrate, according to the report. The top destination countries for migrants from Uganda are Kenya, the United Kingdom, Tanzania, the United States, Rwanda, Canada, Sweden, Australia, Germany and Denmark. It is estimated that nearly 647,000 non-Ugandans are living in Uganda in 2010, primarily from Sudan, Rwanda, Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Tanzania, Kenya, the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, and Australia. The Uganda-Kenya migration corridor is among the most dynamic migration corridors in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Migration and Remittances Factbook 2011 is the second edition of an initial volume issued in 2008. The Factbook relies on data publicly available from reliable sources. As a result, data on some important migration corridors—for example, from Zimbabwe to South Africa, are not adequately covered in the book.
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I had resigned over the issue of Presidency come 2011 general Election, but on a 2nd thought, given what we have seen with President Museveni's past 25 years, surely, it is difficult to imagine whether we can have anything worth calling 'Uganda the Pearl of Africa' if he is left for another 5 additional years. In the circumstances, the way to go is support the man with principles a man who respects Human Rights and a man ready to see reconciliation a reality; and that is Ambassador (Dr) Olara Otunnu who can give Uganda the direction it badly needs. There is need to campaign seriously to make our people's inner eyes

Olara Otunnu is a compassionate advocate for children around the globe, especially children exposed to war and civil strife. Former UN Representative, and recipient of many prestigious awards and prizes, Otunnu is on a mission to save the lives and precious futures of the vulnerable children of the world - because children represent the future of us all...

"One of the most cynical features of today's warfare is the way with which adults are using children to be the channel for their own hate and passion."


by Rebecca Miller

Olara Otunnu and child

Olara Otunnu was born in northern Uganda in a time when children went to school and had opportunities for a normal, rewarding life. Sadly, this is not the reality for most children in his home region today; nor is it the reality for far too many children around the world. Otunnu has devoted his life to championing their basic rights.
Otunnu had the opportunity of going to high school, college, and then university in Kampala, Uganda. Intelligent and eager to make a difference in the world, he earned an Oxford University Overseas Scholar followed by a Fulbright Scholarship to Harvard Law School. Afterwards, he practiced law in New York before becoming an Assistant Professor of Law at Albany Law School.

Otunnu and children from Afghanistan

Otunnu was a student activist during his university years as president of the student's union, when Edi Amin had a terrible grip on his unfortunate subjects. After earning his degrees, Otunnu worked as a lawyer as well as a skilled diplomat; his awareness of the bleak plight of the children in his beloved Uganda compelled him to devote his life to improving their lives. When offered the position of United Nations under-secretary general and special representative for children and armed conflict, it was a perfect fit. He fulfilled this position from 1997 to 2005.
Under his passionate and charismatic leadership, the United Nations crafted a comprehensive system of rules, called Resolution 1612 of 26 July 2005, in which an international monitoring and reporting system was established. The system "documents abuses against children, seeks to identify and publicly list offending parties responsible for abusing and brutalizing children, and seeks to bring these offenders into compliance with international laws and standards, including through the imposition of sanctions."

Olara Otunnu speaking about the Rwanda Project

The widespread use of children in armed conflicts is a terrible trend that has spread across the globe. As Otunnu explains, it is seen
"from Colombia to Sierra Leone, from Sri Lanka to Sudan and Uganda, from Burma to Angola.
Compelled to become instruments of war, to kill and be killed, child soldiers are forced to give violent expression to the hatreds of adults.
It is not just the child combatants who are affected, but the girls who become 'wives,' the youngsters who have to cook for the troops, be messengers or spies."
Report to the United Nations by Olara Otunnu

Youth Ambassadors for Peace

Otunnu spoke at the World Council of Churches, February 2006, where he laid out the progress made in the United Nations regarding this seemingly intractable affliction. After tireless observation, research and planning, Otunnu may have cracked the conundrum of why this urgent problem has persisted for so long, with so little action taken. He broke the problem down into these active steps toward hope.
1. Campaign to protect children from the scourge of war
2. Developing concrete response and actions
3. Embarking on the ‘era of application’
4. Instituting a ‘naming and shaming’ list
5. Establishing a formal CAAC compliance regime
Simply put: Otunnu laid the groundwork by speaking out against the shame of treating children this way; he brought organizations together to take action; he decided how to assist government agencies to transform from talk to action (the most difficult step of all); the first concrete step was in publicly shining the spotlight on those who transgress; specific action plans and deadlines for ending the violations were implemented; in the event of noncompliance, the "Security Council will consider targeted measures against those parties and their leaders, such as travel restrictions and denial of visas, imposition of arms embargoes and bans on military assistance, and restriction on the flow of financial resources."

Otunnu and children in Columbia

Olara Otunnu has left an immensely important legacy during his United Nations sojourn - one that will save the lives and futures of thousands of children. Today, his work continues through the LBL Foundation, whose mission is to encourage investing in the education of children and youth, as the "most effective way to facilitate overall recovery and development in a war-torn society."
"Ensuring protection for our children and investing in their education and development is therefore among the most important and effective means for building durable peace and justice in society.
Written by Rebecca Miller
Last changed on: 8/11/2010 3:52:42 PM

When the UPC Government was in office there were chances of seeing the welfare of Ugandans a reality. The differences in the Uganda society were not the magnitude they are today where the gap between the have's and have nots is beyond imagination. Today we are witnessing the NRM Government favour a few well to do farmers at the expense of the majority poor! When UPC was in Government we witnessed policies which were geared to seeing the welfare of all in practice. We saw many people benefit from the Cooperative infrastructure and it was well tailored from the rural areas to the apex organisations. Many policies of the time were positive and practical in seeing to the welfare of the poor. They were driven by the technical people not the head of state.
It is clear that the future of Uganda can be bright if the powers that be borrow rightly the UPC models. Unfortunately, the NRM gambles have been successful in increasing the country's indebtedness but the impact on ground is just a few who are reaping the fruits as majority find it difficult to make ends meet. The taxes are one area in point where the Government has failed to get a balance between reasonable taxing in line with the competitiveness that has to be enhanced in the economy if sustainable development is to be a reality.
William Kituuka

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