Districts leaders from across the country are facing an “overwhelming” demand from women groups for funding through the Uganda Women Entrepreneurship Fund which was established by the government to improve livelihoods.
The local leaders claim women groups which received the money are doing extremely well and have improved their lives for better and this is the reason other groups are urgently requesting for it.
Peace Tibakuna, the Secretary for Social Services who represented the LCV chairman Bushenyi district, said the district was yet to receive funds for this financial year, a thing that is causing tension among the women groups that had been approved to receive the funds.
“We do not know what to do at this moment. These groups have very organized projects and they are only waiting for finances and we do not have an explanation because the district has always received these funds first,” said Tibakuna.
Godfrey Oringa, the Pader district chairperson, also noted that his district received over 88 group requests and only 23 groups were able to receive the funds.
He called upon the government through the Ministry of Labor to solicit for more funds for women because they have proved to be more useful and crucial for the economic development of the country.
“The women have proved that they are better managers as they have successful handled the funds given to them and used it to improve the livelihood of their families. If Uganda is to move away from poverty we need to put more focus on the women because they have proved that they care about the well-being of their families.”
Minister Speaks Out
However, the Minister Of Gender, Labor and Social Development, Janat Mukwaya noted that as much as they would wish to give money to each and every group, it is not possible due to lack of funds from the government.
“Only 94 districts in Uganda have been able to receive the funds. 70 districts have been left out because the money issued out is not enough,” said Mukwaya.
“For example for this quarter, we were supposed to receive Shs 16.5b but have only received Shs 5.6bn due to constraints on the budget. We therefore advise the women groups to continue running the projects that they have started with the profits accumulated. Those who have not got should be patient because this is a revolving fund; if they do not get this year, they will get some other year.”
The leaders were speaking Monday at the Social Development Sector Review meeting which took place today Monday at Hotel Africana.
Under the theme, “Accelerating Social Transformation through Promotion of Labor Productivity, Employments and Rights to Vulnerable Groups”, the two-day summit which commenced today is being attended by district officers, RDC’S, district chairpersons, COWAS and officials from the Ministry of Gender Ministry.