‘There is no harm in dreaming big. All major businesses are built on dreams...it can happen’
2019-06-01 15:58:58 -

The Integration Question with Princess Pamela Toyin


Bright and optimistic Immaculate Akello, who left Uganda in east Africa in 2000 to seek a better life in Ireland for herself and her family, has great ideas for her adopted home.


“I have to forget who I was before I came to Ireland,” she says, remembering how she was “trying to forge a life with very little and nothing to my name, living on edge and bordering on the poverty line – every day of my life was hard”.


Though already a trained accountant, Immaculate took on different personal development courses to enhance her knowledge as she settled in Ireland.


Like many Africans in the diaspora, Immaculate is ever willing to contribute to the development of her home continent. And she believes, because she experiences both worlds of Africa and Europe, that she can serve as a bridge in fostering greater understanding between Africa and Ireland through trade in goods.


She says: “I am currently planning and working on registering and structuring my business called Direct Global Trade, which will be dealing in exports and imports.”


It is believed that one of the best ways to integrate Africa’s economy and to enhance inter-African trade in the diaspora is by way of exporting African goods – just like it is believed Africa will profit from a ‘brain gain’ driven by those educated in the diaspora with valuable skills and work experience acquired.


Currently undertaking an entrepreneurship course to improve her skills, and designed to help her start her own business, Immaculate says that she loves Ireland and all it has to offer.


“Africa is where my roots are, and with my dual citizenship I want to marry these worlds the best way I can by introducing African products to Ireland.”


The main objective in starting her business, Immaculate says, is to “create a unifying and integrating business organisation that will ease trade between Africa and Ireland”. This, she is optimistic, can help bridge the link between her home country and adopted country.


However, as much as she loves Ireland — and she describes her experience as having “generally been good” — Immaculate says her greatest challenge was being separated from her children during the family reunification process.


“I have four boys and two girls. The eldest two, both lawyers, were separated from me when they needed me most. My family is now divided forever, and being a mother, that cuts through my heart like a knife.”


As a result of her experience, Immaculate has also turned to activism: “My passion in life would be human rights activism. I can’t stand injustice anywhere. I guess it’s because I have seen too much sadness around me, and I want it to stop.”


Immaculate argues that her separated family members should have the same right to international protection that she does. The situation has been very devastating, despite her being sustained by the hard work she’s put into her life here.


She talks of her other children in Ireland, now all grown up, with two already in the workplace.


Exploring big dreams, making a difference and moving with purpose are all part of Immaculate’s drive to succeed.


“There is no harm in dreaming big. All major businesses are built on dreams. I would encourage everyone to support me archive this dream. I am going to sow a seed and let us together water and nature it. Given chance and support, I strongly believe, it can happen.”


Princess Pamela Toyin has gained experience since the mid 1980s working in various fields and interacting with people of different tribes and ethnicity. With her passion for diversity, she is propelled to report a diverse range of issues that facilitate intercultural dialogue and integration, which can change social, economic, and cultural stereotypes, and believes there are lessons to be learned from everyone. Talk to her on +353 (0) 87 417 9640 or email echoesmediainternational@gmail.com

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