What a better Independence Day GIFT than finding a Google doodle on the front page of thehttps://www.google.com! If you used a Uganda IP address to access Google home page on 9th October 2013, you were received with the Uganda Independence Day doodle. It is a great honor to Uganda. Well done Google.
It is these seemingly small things that folks at Go – ogle (Google) do that make it a great company. Here in Uganda, we are celebrating 51st independence anniversary from the British rule in 1962. It has been a long journey, but worth it.
The most remarkable achievement to date is peace and stability. To me, this is a foundation for economic growth and success. At Summit Business, we take this opportunity to congratulate government especially H.E. President Y. K. Museveni for the peace and stability we have all enjoyed.
As usual, nothing great can be achieved without obstacles. There have been many challenges along the way. That is part of any successful journey and I am happy to have been part of it since August 1979.
I was born in one of the remote villages in Hoima district. At the time, my parents were living in houses that had been built by the Indian migrants. These houses have for long defined the Munteme Trading Centre by beautifying her skyline. I remember living in one of these houses from 1986 to 1996, when I left the village for Hoima town to study for my advanced certificate. Since then, many things have changed. The old ‘Indian’ houses have since been abandoned as locals have managed to construct their own better housing.
Granpa told me that Indians occupied the Munteme village way back in 1820s. By the time my faculties started remembering events, I was awed by the quality of the go-down buildings that had been built by the Indians then. Around early 1990, many of these go-down buildings that were being operated as factories had been vacated and were giving away to the unrelenting weather. My peers and I wished to have been part of the story when these factories were operating.
It was too late.
Everything ended with the Indians. And we knew it would take long to get back to that growth.
Without being an alarmist, the Indian investors of that time were clearly selfish. All economic activity ended with them.
How could their factories suddenly and completely end with their expulsion?
If the expulsion served as a litmus test of their impact on the human capital development and skills transfer to native Ugandans, they failed flat. No single business of theirs continued to operate after their departure.
You have probably read about it. Around 1972, Idi Amin the then President of the President of Uganda, made a decree expelling all Indians in Uganda at the time. It was an act that was condemned from all corners of the world. But that is how the president had understood independence to be: taking autonomous decisions and being responsible.
In there, the country went through lots of chaos. I am happy I survived it all.
I recall vividly the 1986/7 war, or the end of it. I was about 7 years. As Kampala was being captured, the remnants were scattering to Hoima and other villages. That is how we almost ended with the war and my mother became the unsung war hero to date. But that will be another story.
Happy Independence Day! Long Live Uganda.