Second Scramble For Africa

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What may seem like a few pounds and dollars in the UK and US converts into very many shillings back home. That’s a fact Ugandans in the Diaspora are just beginning to learn. The white Serena guys seem to be way ahead in this new Scramble for Africa.

[Jackline’s Observations]

 

The Second Scramble for Africa is intense.

Recently, I spent considerable time at the Kampala Serena Hotel. It was business but while at the Serena, it’s hard for pleasure not to crop in. The place is so serene and beautiful.

I remember spending a whole Wednesday with the African sun kissing my body by the shapely poolside—right beside the magnificent artificial but breathtaking waterfalls.

If I tell you an outfit is lovely or a hairstyle is beautiful, we can have a debate. However, if I declare a hotel is beautiful, take my word as gospel truth. I know a good place when I see one--the Kampala Serena is it.

The first Scramble for Africa and subsequent partition may have been over 100 years ago. Like a blockbuster movie, it has been followed by a part two. While at the Serena, I observed a particular set of guests that kept coming in and out. Their visits were probably 99.99% business-related and these individuals weren’t locals at all. They weren’t even African. They were white Europeans and Americans—looking for business opportunities and wealth in Africa.

Well, where are our homeboys? Where are our sisters in the Diaspora? I know many are contributing to our economy through remittances of money. But it kind of pays more to have solid investments.

Some Ugandans who went abroad haven’t returned in years. However, of late, there has been an increased interest in having a business back home. Salons, clothing boutiques and supermarkets are particularly popular. Real estate is gold these days with prices rising every second. ‘‘Í had to buy land so that at least I am recognized and respected whenever I make a trip back home,’’ a 38-year-old Ugandan Briton remarks.

These kinds of investments reap tremendous advantage. What may seem like a few pounds and dollars in the UK and US converts into very many shillings back home. That’s a fact Ugandans in the Diaspora are just beginning to learn. The white Serena guys seem to be way ahead in this new Scramble for Africa.



Olanya is based in Kampala, Uganda

 

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