Business International

World Bank Challenges Uganda to Improve Business Environment

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Joshua Nahamya

Kampala

The New World Bank Report recommends Uganda to improving trade and business Environment to create higher labor productivity jobs in a bid to address the national issue of unemployment most especially among the growing numbers of the youths in the country.

This was revealed on Tuesday during the launch of the Uganda Jobs for Inclusive Strategy report by the World Bank at the Golf Course Hotel – Kampala.

“If Uganda can create enough jobs with higher labour productivity for young workers, the country can take advantage of the “demographic dividend for economic growth”. Read the report

It was the World Bank’s second report examining the state of the job market in Uganda and how the country can increase the demand for labor or create jobs for a fast-growing labor force.

According to the report, Uganda’s economy needs to gradually create more jobs for its fast-growing and youth population.

“To accelerate economic growth and drive transformation, these jobs will need to bring higher labor productivity” read part of the new World Bank report

The report shows that with a median age of just 15.9, Uganda is the world’s second youngest country, whereas around 700,000 young people reach working age every year.

“And the number will rise to an average of a million in the decade from 2030-2040, potentially exacerbating the mismatch between labor demand and supply.”

It further indicates that while Uganda’s youth are renowned for being highly enterprising, there is not enough demand for all of them to be producing for the domestic market.

“Fewer than 4 percent of the self-employed are employers (job creators), 52 percent are working for themselves, and 43 percent work as unpaid family workers.”

according to data from the 2016/17 Uganda National Household Survey, nearly two thirds of Ugandans remain employed in agriculture, and almost three quarters of young Ugandans enter the workforce on their family farm.

The report recommends that waged employment allows economies to grow faster; reduces poverty faster; and brings more reliable earnings and hours. “Moreover, as people switch from agriculture they move to urban areas and shift from being self-employed to working for a wage.” Reads the report

“We recommend coordinating Government policy and investments on the priority of creating jobs and economic transformation for young workers. Policies and investments should facilitate regional trade, encourage private investment, promote urban development, and incentivize commercial agriculture by encouraging value chain linkages.” Read the report

The strategy also calls on government to realign youth employment programs to prepare graduates for semi-skilled work.

“We also suggest that government realigns youth employment programs to prepare graduates for semi-skilled waged work in addition to entrepreneurship.” Read in part

However, the World Bank’s country manager, Mr. Tony Thompson sticks on agribusiness as a promising entity to address unemployment

He adds that demand for food is rising, and as urbanization continues, and incomes rise, the demand for higher value produces; like meats, dairy produce, fresh vegetables, fresh fruits and juices will expand fast.

“Agribusiness and agro-processing can create many productive jobs in the food system, from transport, storage, and warehousing, to retail and restaurants. Blessed with good weather and soil, Uganda can be a food basket for Africa while closing the employment gap,” saidThompson, In conclusion, Mr. Thompson confirmed that World Bank is committed to helping Uganda meet its job challenges in

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