The Uganda Association of External Recruitment Agency (UAERA), a body that governs external labour companies has announced closure of business in Uganda with immediate effect.
According to UAERA, since the government of Uganda locked down their business in March, a total of 35,000 employment opportunities for Ugandans have been lost and the continued closure has even made it worse.
Baker Akantambira, the UAERA Chairperson reveals that though the Ministry of Gender, Labour & Social Development plans on the phased resumption of externalization of labour, they’re concerned that the ministry has not involved the respective labour companies directly or through their Association [UAERA] to forge the way forward.
Last week the Labour Ministry issued a statement saying; “The slight delay in reopening of externalization of domestic workers is because the Government would like to put in place additional measures aimed at promoting and protecting the welfare and rights of Ugandan domestic workers abroad. To this end, the Ministry will engage all stakeholders including the private recruitment companies.”
However, Akantambira discloses that the ministry is independently planning to decide on their behalf.
“It is not in doubt that labour exporting companies are key stakeholders in the industry. Therefore, whereas the suspension of externalization of labour was inevitable given the prevailing conditions [globally], the current move by the Ministry to unilateral undertake measures directly affecting the labour companies is disturbing,” Akantambira says.
He adds that over 4,000 Ugandans directly employed by the labour recruitment companies have been rendered jobless.
“.. going forward, the general public is advised that following the closure of labour companies, they should consult the Ministry of Gender Labour and Social Development on all aspects pertaining to externalization of migrant workers.
“All foreign Partners and principals are advised to seek further information and consult the Ministry of Gender Labour and Social Development, respective Ugandan embassies and other Government Agencies,” he says.