INVESTMENT | EMPLOYMENT |
Investors planning to invest in Uganda have been asked to reserve up to 60% of the job opportunities for Ugandan nationals, especially the youth, as a way of promoting local content.
According to Ruth Acheng, Uganda's ambassador to Canada, there is a need for the government to issue tough conditions to investors, which include setting a 60% rule to all investors for the employment of Ugandans.
"As ambassadors, they send us out to look for investors and investors are coming to invest in the country, they should be given conditions of their employment and they should at least employ 60% of Ugandans," she said.
Acheng who has wooed Canadian investors to invest in the honey industry said setting employment conditions of Ugandans by investors, will help address the increased unemployment rates in the country.
In Rukungiri an opposition stronghold, where Achieng a member of the Uganda People's Congress (UPC) has been camping to campaign for National Resistance Movement (NRM) Presidential Candidate Yoweri Museveni, Canadian investors have identified 1,200 beekeepers whom they want to help to produce honey for export to Canada.
"They came and took samples to Canada, they found out that it is really good quality, they have procured a number of beehives which they are bringing to the farmers and when honey is ready, they will come and harvest by themselves, they have really tested our honey and they have found that it is of great quality," Acheng said.
Besides Rukungiri, Acheng said the investors also visited Arua district, another honey producing district, and expressed interest in the honey produced by the people of Arua.
She said the investors have extended beekeeping and harvesting skills to the farmers, to promote hygiene and proper handling of the honey which she said they describe as pure and organic.
Acheng said; "They are going to expand beyond Rukungiri and Arua, they plan to recruit more people, to help in beekeeping and harvesting".
Meanwhile, Acheng a member of the opposition is currently moving across the country canvassing votes for Museveni as well as spotting investment opportunities for investors.
She commended Museveni for his able leadership and restoration of peace and security across the country, but most importantly the once war-ravaged Northern part of the country.
Acheng credited Museveni for fighting the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) insurgency, which left many people dead and homeless.
"My young sister was abducted and she never came back, she was cut into pieces by LRA, women were raped, men were killed, children were abducted. It was a terrible experience we went through, where we lost all the wealth we had."
Acheng justified Museveni's presidential bid for another term in office, saying he has spent the last over 20 years fighting for peace in the country.
She said whereas Museveni has been in power for the last 35 years, he has only served for 15 years, spending the rest of the time fighting for peace.
"For us in northern Uganda, we start counting Museveni's leadership after 2016, when we started seeing some peace in Northern Uganda. For the past 20 years president Museveni has been trying to fight those rebels to ensure that there is peace in Uganda," she said.
Acheng however implored the government to address issues affecting Ugandans especially unemployment.
Citing the youth livelihood program which was established to fight unemployment among the youth, Acheng said the money has not reached in many parts of the country where the targeted beneficiaries are.
"I know the government gives money but it should make sure that the money released from the ministry of gender to help the youth reaches that youth. They should put an independent accountability desk, to make sure the money that is released from gender reaches that very youth," she said.
On corruption, Achieng rallied Ugandans to help in the fighting against corruption saying it is not a one man's job for the president.
She said; "I want people to vote for President Museveni, for outstanding contribution to the development of this country. People are saying there is corruption but he cannot fight it alone".
She took a jab at fellow opposition members whom she implored to support government programs geared towards uplifting the lives of their people.
If you are an opposition who opposes everything including development, then you are not the right choice for the people because when it comes to budget allocation you should not debate as an opposition you should debate as a representative of the people, you should not forget your people, you can oppose on policy but when it comes to the development you should not oppose, you should grab whatever is available and take to your people," Acheng said.