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Bunyoro queen urges women to form cooperatives to benefit from oil and gas sector

KIKUUBE, April 4, 2024 – The Queen of Bunyoro Kitara Kingdom Omugo Margaret Karunga Andyeeri has challenged women in her kingdom to form cooperatives if they are to get contracted by the local oil and gas sector.

In a message delivered for her by the Secretary for Omugo Foundation, Princess Daphine Kabatarasi, Omugo noted that there is a need for women to get organised and have stronger bargaining power while trading so that they are not cheated by the buyers.

She made the call during celebration of Women Month organised by a not-for-profit organisation, Global Rights Alert at Sir Tito Winyi Primary School in Kiziranfumbi Sub-county in Kikuube district recently, with the aim of promoting women’s participation in the oil and gas development in Bunyoro Sub-region, with the country expected to produce its first oil by 2025.

The queen said as the country heads to first oil production, women who work under cooperatives will get more business opportunities than one who seeks to supply the sector as an individual.

She added that women working with cooperatives also stand a higher chance of benefiting from government projects and programmes aimed at combating poverty, such as the Parish Development Model [PDM], Operation Wealth Creation, and Emyooga Programme.

However, she challenged government and oil companies to train women on the standards that are set by the oil and gas sector, noting that women in Bunyoro Kingdom are engaged in different income generating activities such as farming but they are unable to supply to the sector because their products do not meet quality standards.

She also demanded for the empowerment of women on financial literacy if they are to benefit from the money given  to them by government for development of their families.

On her part, Evas Muguryeke, Kikuube district female counselor for workers also underscored a need to empower women on issues of standards so that they can be able to supply to the oil and gas sector.

She added that supplying  the sector  oil and gas sector needs one to have a company but most women don’t own companies due lot of registration bureaucracies. She urged government to come up with a special programme of supporting women in Bunyoro to register companies, saying it would formalise their businesses.

In the same vein, Joy Akoli the Global Rights Director of Programmes at Global Rights Alert said they organised the  engagements to help women to share their challenges with the key stakeholder in the oil and gas development, and forge a way forward on how to mitigate the challenges.

Akoli challenged women in Bunyoro to be confident and always fight for their rights, adding that several women’s rights get violated as a result of oil and gas development yet the women keep silent.

She said that there is a need for women to get empowered so that they are able to speak out against violence, and further encouraged the women to grow fruits such as mangoes, oranges, and avocado among others if they are to boost their household incomes.

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