The Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga has asked government to increase the funding of critical programmes meant to uplift vulnerable women and youths from the clutches of poverty.
Kadaga at the weekend told President Yoweri Museveni that government urgently needs to provide funding for the green jobs programme which is a government initiative to create decent jobs by reducing negative environmental impacts and promoting safety and health at work.
“Your excellency, I ask you as the Minister Finance, because you are the Minister of Finance, that in the next financial year, you send [Matia] Kasaija to put for us this money. Shs 50 billion for the Green Jobs Programme, Shs 30 billion for the National Apprenticeship and Graduate Volunteer Scheme, Shs 30 billion for the Uganda Green Incubation Project(UGIP)- Songhai Model, Shs 100 billion for jobs for urban youth (JOY), Shs 20 billion for access for labour justice and Shs 50 billion for improving labour productivity. This Ministry works. I can confirm that it works,” Kadaga said.
She was speaking during the hand-over of the state-of-the-art business start-up tool kits to 3 ,228 youths and women organized in 190 groups drafted from the Busoga sub-region.
The groups that benefitted from the second cohort directly employ over 5,000 people and the support is expected to increase the productivity and profitability of the businesses, increase business growth and contribute to employment creation.
The groups that benefitted are in the trades of mechanical, metal fabrication and welding; electrical; woodwork and carpentry; art, design, leatherworks, textile and tailoring; plumbing and construction; agro processing; information, communication and technology; automobile assembling, maintenance and repairs; cosmetology; creative arts.
They are funded under the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development is intended to promote environmentally, economically and socially sustainable enterprises and economies.
The Improving Labour Productivity and Competitiveness Project seeks to establish a National Productivity Centre which will coordinate and spearhead productivity, measurement, research and dissemination.
The Uganda National Apprenticeship and Graduate Volunteer Scheme aims at leveraging volunteerism as an essential mechanism for young people’s skills development.
The Uganda Green Incubation Programme (UGIP) – Songhai model emphasizes production of more with less, zero waste, creation of green jobs, inclusive economy and self-reliance.
The Jobs for Urban Youth (JOY) Project seeks to increase employment and labour productivity for urban youth.
“Ï thank Ugandans for remembering the things that make money and getting out of sleep. Everyone now has an urge to be involved in making money-which is good. I am happy that the Speaker is saying that we add money in these projects of eradicating poverty. Previously, some leaders were saying that we put money in salaries and other things but we are now saying the same thing that money should be put in infrastructure and projects to eradicate poverty,” Museveni said.
Under the component of support to the informal sector, the target is to give Business start-up tool kits and equipment to 1,000,000 Jua-kalis businesses that include youth, women and Persons with Disabilities (PWDs).
Under the first cohort in 2018, at least 87 groups drawn from Kampala and Wakiso districts benefited from the project.
To further boost support to the informal sector, the Government, through the green jobs programme, plans to establish Industrial Business Shelters with Common-user Facilities.