Ugandans working in the Middle East remit about US $900 million (about Shs3 trillion), according to Minister of Gender, Labour and Social Development Betty Amongi.
The minister, who was sharing the End of Year Performance Highlights, said that in 2021 alone, 84,879 Ugandans were externalized, with the majority going to Saudi Arabia (75,873), Qatar (3,991), and UAE (3,368). Others went to Iraq, Bahrain, Jordan, Afghanistan, Kuwait, Somalia and Poland.
According to Amongi, her ministry “continues to put in place systems that guarantee decent, safe and secure jobs for Ugandans abroad.”
For instance, the Employment (Recruitment of Ugandan Migrant Workers) Regulations, 2021 Statutory Instrument No. 47 of 2021 came into effect on August 13 and it among others provides for verification of all job orders, accreditation of all foreign recruitment Agencies and prohibits non-Ugandans from owning external recruitment agencies.
There is also a provision for imprisonment not exceeding five years or a fine not exceeding one thousand currency points, or both for persons found guilty of illegal recruitment activities.
“On the other hand, the Ministry has tightened the regulation of the licensed recruitment firms and over the last six months, 20 non-compliant Private Recruitment Agencies and one Pre-departure orientation training institution have been suspended,” she said.
“We have also over the same period recovered and ensured the refund to affected persons Shs72 million and US$ 2,650 from Recruitment Agencies for failing to place workers on promised jobs.”