By Homeland Business Desk
More than 500 girls leave Uganda each day for domestic work in the Arab World, an official from the Internal Affairs Ministry has revealed.
Agnes Igoye, the Deputy Coordinator for Prevention of Trafficking in Persons in the Internal Affairs Ministry, says that although several male youths are also leaving for jobs in the Middle East, the biggest number of people leaving for domestic work comprises females aged between 24 and 35 years of age.
She says that records from the Immigrations department at Entebbe Internal Airport show that, 500 youths majorly girls sign off to travel for domestic work in countries such as Saud Arabia, Jordan and Qatar. This means that over 15,000 girls are leaving Uganda every month for domestic work in the Arab world.
This translates to 180,000 mostly women leaving the country every year in search of employment. However, Igoye says the 500 youths are those who are exported through recognized external Labour recruitment agencies. She says that many youths are being trafficked by unscrupulous Labour exporters.
There are 216 licensed Labour export companies in Uganda. However, the Ministry of Gender, Labour, and Social Development has since banned eight Labour export companies citing numerous complaints by the foreign labourers.
Ramathan Ggoobi, a renowned economist, says the number of young people leaving Uganda for ‘mean’ domestic jobs is an indictment on the government and Uganda at large for failure to create gainful employment for its young population.
Ggoobi says that many of his former students who performed very well at university in courses such as statistics, procurement and logistics, business and commerce have opted for mean jobs in the Middle East for lack of opportunity.
The World Bank report of 2020 indicates that Uganda needs to create 700,000 jobs every year in order to match the fast-growing Labour force. Uganda, according to World Bank, creates only 75,000 jobs per year. Ggoobi says that Uganda would not develop if it continues with the current brain drain.
In 2019, the media quoted, Dr. Adam Mugume, an Executive Research Director at Bank of Uganda, saying that Uganda collects over USD 1.2B mostly increased by remittances from Labour export to the middle east. But Ggoobi says that the more than Shillings 4 trillion collected from Labour export should not be anything to be proud about.
He says parents endure a lot to educate their children to the extent of selling off their property such as land. But their graduate children end up being employed as domestic workers in homes of poor people in the Middle East.