“We demand for gender responsive public procurement, through a 30% preference and reservation scheme which gives an opportunity to women, youth and persons with disabilities..."
KAMPALA - Ugandan women have been urged to be innovative and creative if they are to find jobs or remain relevant in the labour market.
This call was sounded during a press conference held at Uganda Women Entrepreneurs Association's offices(UWEAL)in Lugogo.
"We are in a fast-changing environment and there has been a general feeling that women in business copy a lot. We are calling upon women to build smart and be innovative. You should be able to startup your own business with passion, not because you have seen someone else doing it. When you do business with passion, you will be able to sustain it for long. Let us also think big, not only selling mangoes but go for big ideas like manufacturing phones," said Angela Bageine, the UWEAL Chairperson.
Bageine also called upon women to tap into existing untapped opportunities in the developing oil and gas sector so that they are not left out.
"With an estimated 6000 jobs expected in the Tilenga Project, UWEAL has spearheaded the active participation of women entrepreneurs through trainings and strategic partnerships with stakeholders in the energy sector in Uganda. We call upon government and stakeholders involved in the implementation of national content in the oil and gas sector, to ensure no women is left behind," she noted.
Patience Kiden, the UWEAL programs and communications officer, proposed that 40% of international tenders supplies be sourced from citizen contractors to be able to build the capacity of women entrepreneurs.
"We demand for gender responsive public procurement, through a 30% preference and reservation scheme which gives an opportunity to women, youth and persons with disabilities to take full advantage on National tenders," noted Kiden.
In order to reduce food waste and improve storage and logistics of women agro produce, UWEAL aims at establishing the first Women Incubation Center in Uganda that will address the challenges faced by women entrepreneurs through providing warehouse facility, easy access to new and improved value addition practices and the state of the art food testing lab.
"With sh20b, we are going to put up a Women Incubation Center in Namanve where women will be able to access legal service, skills training and business registration and standardization services under one roof. It will enable women entrepreneurs to trade competitively in the East African community and Africa at large," noted Connie Kekihembo, the UWEAL Chief Executive Officer.
Kekihembo called upon women in every sector to take advantage of business opportunities, through networking, working in groups/associations to increase bargaining power and gain knowledge that can expand their enterprises.