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Govt official urges women traders not to give up on grants

GULU– Gulu City Commercial Officer, Catherine Lanyero has urged women traders to continue seeking government development grants, despite the  many processes they go through to finally access the grants.

This comes after several businesswomen complained that they had failed to access government grants, especially Emyooga despite spending money to fulfill the requirements.

The women traders who spoke during a recent financial literacy training organized by The Eastern African Sub-Regional Support Initiative for the Advancement of Women [EASSI] in Gulu city said they had decided to give up on government projects. They  were unhappy to lose their savings in a bid to access government funds.

To get registered for Emyooga funds, several women said they spent over Shs 50,000 on registration, photocopying of documents, and transport among others.

But Lanyero said that when government programs come up, many people apply but never follow up on their progress.

“How can you get this money if you don’t follow up? Adding that it’s not easy for government officials to follow up on everybody because of the magnitude of people who apply for government programs.”

The official told theCooperator that about six entities or categories in Gulu City have not accessed their money.

“The money is already in the association account but no one to use it. It’s possible that the leadership lost interest and left the left of the association stranded,” she said.

Lanyero however advised such categories to follow up on the money because it has been allocated by government to support them.

She however cautioned people against abusing the grant.

Emyooga which is a Presidential Initiative on Wealth and Job creation was launched in August 2019 as part of the broad government strategy targeting to transform 68 percent of homesteads from subsistence to market-oriented production with the overall objective of promoting job creation and improving household incomes.

The initiative targets 18 enterprises including boda-boda, women entrepreneurs carpenters, salon operators, taxi operators, restaurant owners, welders, market vendors, youth leaders, and persons with disabilities [PWDs].

Others are produce dealers, mechanics, tailors, journalists, performing artists, veterans, fishermen, and elected leaders.

Once organised into SACCOs, the enterprises are given Shs 30 million as seed capital, which members borrow and pay back at 8 percent interest per annum.

Gulu city was allocated Shs 1.2 billion in the 2021/2022 financial year.

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