By David Ssempijja
The unquestionable behaviour of Ugandans working in the Middle East is opening employment opportunities for their brothers and sisters back home, thus, employers are looking out for more local workforce.
Ugandans are among the most hardworking and always serve within the set company guidelines, this sets a strong benchmark for more employers to come to Uganda for more workers, according to Mohamed Hafez, the head of Human Resource for Americana Food Quality (chain of restaurants) United Arab Emirates (UAE) branch.
Hefez is in the country to interview and recruit at least 250 Ugandans through the Muyenga-based Middle East Consultants, a licensed local labour export firm to serve in different capacities at one of Middle East’s largest chain of restaurants distributed in parts Qartar, Bahrain, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, UAE among others.
According to the Middle East Consultants managing director Gordon Mugyenyi, Americana Food Quality has so far flown out 37 cashiers and cooks to Qartar, 30 cashiers to Bahrain and 18 cooks have already been approved as the recruitment process continues.
“Successful candidates for this lot will be offered free air tickets, monthly earnings ranging between $400 (sh1m) and $600 (1.5m), free accommodation, overtime allowances, food, and insurance and medical care,” he said.
Piece of advice
However, amidst all these diaspora job opportunities, government has always advised job seekers to be vigilant and make broad inquiries about the jobs advertised and the firms involved.
The most critical government offices from which to seek advice about the status of the local labour export firms and the diaspora employers is the External Employment Unit (EEU) under the ministry of labour headed by Milton Turyasiima
If there happens to be any suspicions of human trafficking, the public has always been advised to consult Moses Binoga, the coordinator for Anti-Human Trafficking.
When companies secures a labour supply contracts, the matter is presented before the EEU office, the officers here investigate the existence of the job opportunities in question before allowing the companies to advertise and recruit, and job seekers must insist getting recruited through licensed firms.
Diaspora workers boost economy
Ugandans working abroad have been remitting an average of $700m back home, with year 2011 being the highest with $773m (about sh1.941 trillion) presenting the country as being among the top recipients of international capital in that year.
The World Bank estimates that Uganda receives about 4% of remittances to Sub-Saharan Africa.
The Bank estimates that by the end next year, the remittances by Ugandans in the diaspora will have hit $1b.