Kampala, Uganda | URN | The Ministry for Kampala and Metropolitan Affairs is set to recruit 5,000 youth to work in the Arab world by end of year in the new arrangement.
Uganda has one of the highest population growth rates globally with more than 78% of its population below 30 years, and the labour market increases by over 500,000 young people annually, yet the labour market can’t absorb this number. This makes labour export the easiest way out of this unemployment conundrum.
The Uganda Association of External Recruitment Agencies (UAERA) 2020 report, indicates that at least 165,000 Ugandans work in the Middle East. The Middle East provides opportunities for several categories of employees, including drivers, domestic workers, factory workers, security, etc. However, this was interrupted on the onset of COVID-19.
Data from Bank of Uganda shows that Uganda has tremendously benefited from remittances from the Middle East, which increased from $51.4m in 2010 to $309m by 2018.
As of 2018, the region contributed 23 per cent of the country’s forex remittances, up from 7 per cent in 2010. However, the outbreak of COVID-19 has disrupted this seemingly opportune labour market, especially for the unskilled Ugandan youth.
Hajjat Minsa Kabanda, the Minister for Kampala and Metropolitan Affairs has established a partnership with Ali Saleh Othman Alawayeh, the Chief executive officer of Ingaz group of companies in Saudi Arabia, to boost the image of Kampala and get employment for the city’s youth.
Ali Saleh Othman Alawayeh is not new to Uganda, in 2018 he signed a partnership agreement with three Ugandan labour export companies including; International Employment Linkages, Security Link and Al Firsan Group, to monitor safety and working conditions of domestic workers and also to recruit and train domestic workers, and by the end of 2019, over 3,000 girls had been deployed under Ingaz Recruitment Company.
The minister also revealed that Ali has also accepted to invest in the areas of health and tourism, and arrangements are underway to realise this department as well.
The Kampala ministry is working with the ministry of gender and authorized external labour recruitment companies to make sure Ugandans benefit from this opportunity which is starting before the end of the year. Being a more streamlined programme, it will eliminate the irregularities which have always been associated with the external labour recruitment sphere in Uganda for long.
She further explained that on this particular project, safety of the youth is priority and together with the ministry of gender, labour and social development, they are soon visiting Riyadh, Saudi Arabia for a study and after that, interested local companies will sign a memorandum of understanding with Ali and start work immediately.
“Under this arrangement, we shall make sure interested female youths are not charged for recruitment and the male charged reasonably,” the Kampala minister explained.
She called upon the youths to get prepared and also to be careful at the same time, not to fall prey to the many unscrupulous individuals in the labour recruitment industry.