The Minister of State for Disability Affairs, Hon. Hellen Asamo has handed over motorcycles and printers to Chief Administrative Officers [CAOs] for eight new District Local Governments [DLGs].
While handing them over at the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development [MGLSD] offices, Asamo said the purchased items will support the implementation of the Uganda Women Entrepreneurship Programme [UWEP].
“Today is yet another monumental occasion as the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development hands over motorcycles and printers to facilitate the smooth implementation of the programme,” said Asamo.
“The eight motorcycles available today are going to the districts of Kasanda, Pakwach, Kazo, Rwampara, Kitagwenda, Madi-Okollo, Karenga and Kalaki, which are in addition to the 168 districts that received their motorcycles in 2019. This completes the issuance of motorcycles to the 176 districts and municipalities in the country,” she added.
The recipient beneficiaries are an addition to 168 districts that received their motorcycles earlier in 2019.
According to Frank Mugabi, Communications Officer, the gender ministry spent more than Shs 60million to support the newly created 8 districts and municipalities under Uganda Women Entrepreneurship Programme [UWEP].
Asamo says the 176 districts and municipalities were previously given high-performance desktop computers and were yesterday handed accompanying printers.
“I am delighted to be here today to hand over essential items to support the district local governments in implementing the Uganda Women Entrepreneurship Programme. This has brought to one hundred seventy-six number of districts and municipalities that have received motorcycles, desktop computers and printers to aid in the implementation of UWEP” she explained.
The minister encouraged the district and municipality civil servants to put the given items to their intended purpose.
“It’s our strong conviction that the motorcycles will greatly facilitate the local government staff, monitor and supervise the UWEP-funded projects and be able to provide technical support for the continued success of the Programme” Asamo emphasised.
David Lubuka, the Chief Administrative Officer [CAO], Kitagwenda district among the beneficiaries, welcomed the ministry’s support that will help the district officials in monitoring women groups under UWEP.
“It will help us in mobility, of course, a motorcycle is used for transport we can go around the Sub Counties looking at the payments under UWEP, visiting those women groups. In fact, it is just facilitation for our office” Lubuka explained.
He tasked the ministry to provide more means of transport to monitor women groups in all the 9 Sub Counties and 4 Town Councils.
“We have staffs at the headquarters but you know the groups are in Sub Counties so it becomes hard to reach them when you don’t have means of transport. Like we have a Community Development Officer [CDO] at every Sub County but of course, they need to be checked every time and we don’t have enough means of transport,” Lubuka emphasised.
Despite transport challenges, Lubuka says the women are doing well in the district, unlike the youths who are still misusing government funds.
“Women are doing well, generally their recovery is above 80 per cent and we are satisfied with their performance; it’s only the youths who are not impressing us,” he said.
With the growing shift to digitized operations across government operations, UWEP developed a Management Information System [MIS] to strengthen UWEP reporting at national and lower local governments with a focus on; timely, complete and accurate reporting, data quality assurance, data analysis and interpretation.
“I am happy to report that comprehensive nationwide training in the use of the system has been conducted for UWEP Focal Point Persons and District Planners. I want to commit that staffs from the programme will periodically visit your districts to enhance your skills in the use of the MIS” Asamo said.
She further says that through UWEP, the Government of Uganda has sought to address the outstanding social-economic challenges faced by vulnerable women in their quest to start up or grow their enterprises.
“Some of these challenges include; limited access to affordable credit from formal financial institutions, limited technical knowledge and skills for business development, limited access to markets as well as information regarding business opportunities,” she further explained.
UWEP is a flagship government-funded programme extending interest-free credit to women for entrepreneurship.
Since its commencement in 2015, the Uganda Women Entrepreneurship Programme has played a key role in strengthening the capacity of local government staff in service delivery through various training, joint programme reviews and provision of tools to facilitate work.
“It’s my pleasure to note that over the last five years, the programme has provided interest-free credit amounting to Shs 96.1 billion to 15,294 women projects across the country. The total number of direct beneficiaries stood at 180,914 women by the close of last financial year, and the number keeps growing per quarter,” Asamo said.
And we celebrate the achievements attributed to the programme including the increased financial inclusion of women, increased income levels, increase asset acquisition, improved financial independence and improved contribution to import substitution by the programme’s beneficiaries, adds the State Minister.