In a public notice issued on Friday, the Ministry of Gender Labour and Social Development (MGLSD) announced that licensing of new external labour recruitment companies will resume on 1st February 2022, a thing that excited Rajiv Ruparelia, the director of Premier Recruitment Limited, a local labour internationalization firm.
"Finally", Rajiv said when this website contacted him to comment on the development, especially the lifting of the moratorium imposed on licensing of new companies in April 2019. "Let them come; we have work to do as an industry," he added, explaining that there is room for the labour externalization industry to accommodate new comers.
The ministry's permanent secretary A. D Kibinge said the ban on issuing new licenses was needed in order to address some of the challenges in the Externalization of Labour Programme.
"Key among this has been the revision of the law culminating into the Employment (Recruitment of Ugandan Migrant Workers) Regulations, 2021, Statutory Instrument No. 47 of 2021, which came into effect on 13th August 2021," Kibinge said in the notice.
He explained that the process to review the guidelines to operationalize the new regulations is ongoing and in draft form and drafts have been shared with stakeholders to capture their input.
"In view of the above, and the face that upgrade of ministry's External Employment Management Information System (EEMIS) is ongoing and almost complete, the ministry would like to inform all concerned that the processing of new recruitment licenses will resume on 1st February 2022,” Kibinge revealed.
Labour externalization is largely the recruitment of migrant workers to decent employment opportunities and promotes the protection of their rights and welfare in destination countries.
Uganda, according to Kibenge, has 216 private external labour recruitment companies and over 300, 000 Ugandans have been formally externalised to work abroad since 2005. The Ugandan migrant workers are mostly deployed in the Middle East countries of the Royal Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, UAE, Afghanistan, Bahrain, Iraq, Somalia, Kuwait and Qatar.
The government of Uganda according to the labour ministry is signing or reviewing bilateral labour agreements, MoUs on manpower supply with countries of destination. Such partnerships will help Ugandans access external employment that is safe, productive and economically rewarding.
And using resources from the non-tax revenues generated, the Ugandan government will deploy three Labour Attaches to reinforce the embassies in destination countries and ensure that Ugandan migrant workers are safe and supported when distressed.