The new DECP country manager for East Africa, Mr. A. De Koster, undertook a 2 day mission to the federation of Ugandan Employers ( FUE) mainly to determine the future agenda of collaboration with DECP.
Uganda has the benefit of growing rapidly , with annual growth figures of 6 to 7 %, with new opportunities brought by oil and gas discoveries, and enjoying political stability. But also faced with strong challenges probably summarized in one sentence : how to ensure employment and livelihood for the 500.000 newcomers on the labour market annually? Uganda – Netherlands economic relations and investment are there, limited in general, but important in sectors such as agriculture and horticulture.
FUE is the most representative employers organization in the country: it focuses on labour and industrial issues, but expands its activities of services ( in labour law and HR) and lobbying to other key issues such as improving skills, taxes, and combatting corruption. DECP has supported FUE for already 10 years, with remarkable results such as increased membership, and initiatives for better policies to improve the business environment ; indeed , with DECP support FUE defined a national agenda for improvements in the business environment with some concrete proposals in the field of skills policies, anti corruption measures, lower social security costs and some measures to adapt stringent, and often not applied labour laws. DECP also helped with organizational development (membership increase, regional offices).
The new plans will build further on previous actions, and focus more strongly in profiling FUE as a representative and outcome oriented organization, which acts as a dynamic voice of business and may also become more active in social dialogue.