Government Unveils Women Entrepreneurship Programme

4276 Views Kampala, Uganda

In short
UWEP will provide unemployed women, widows, survivors of gender based violence, women living with HIV, women heading households and women in hard to reach areas with affordable credit, technical advice, information on value addition and market access for goods and services.

Government has unveiled the long-awaited Uganda Women Entrepreneurship Programme (UWEP), in fulfillment of a pledge made by President Yoweri Museveni during the 2015 Women's Day Celebrations.

Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda told the media that the 170billion Shillings programme, which runs from the last quarter of the 2015/16 financial year, is to enable women create wealth by boosting their entrepreneurship capabilities.

It will provide unemployed women, widows, survivors of gender based violence, women living with HIV, women heading households and women in hard to reach areas with affordable credit, technical advice, information on value addition and market access for goods and services.  

UWEP will target women aged 18 to 65 years in groups of between 10 and 15 members in all 111 districts plus Kampala Capital City Authority. Women over 65 years will be catered for under the Social Assistance Grants for Empowerment (SAGE) Programme.

Rugunda said the beneficiaries shall be identified and selected through community-based approaches in close collaboration with district and lower local governments. Beneficiaries will be selected by district and sub-county technical planning committees.
 
//Cue in: The programme will …
Cue out: … and implementation.//
 
Rugunda said the funds under UWEP will be administered with zero interest. He said the programme is crucial because women form 86 percent of the informal sector and are financially excluded, hence limiting their capacity to grow and expand their businesses.

 Rugunda added that increased access to affordable credit through UWEP will stimulate growth of high quality goods and services and increase the competitive edge of women's micro, small and medium enterprises.

 Programme documents seen by Uganda Radio Network indicate that three billion Shillings have been allocated to cater for 19 districts for the rest of this financial year.

Rugunda said starting financial year 2016/17 53 billion Shillings will be allocated for the programme through three financial years.

Rugunda adds that government has picked lessons and strengthened all weak areas from its previous programmes to ensure that the UWEP is successful.
 

//Cue in: Women Entrepreneurship …
Cue out: … going to succeed.//
 
Former Finance Minister Maria Kiwanuka, who is one of the architects of the programme, said the women groups will act as security for the monies given out.
 
//Cue in: The question of …
Cue out: … to the fund.//
 
Pius Bigirimana, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development, said UWEP is modeled on the relatively functioning Youth Livelihood Programme with, as he put it, "watertight verification and evaluation systems".

 

About the author

David Rupiny
In his own words, David Rupiny says, "I am literally a self-trained journalist with over 12 years of experience. Add the formative, student days then I can trace my journalism roots to 1988 when as a fresher in Ordinary Level I used to report for The Giraffe News at St Aloysius College Nyapea in northern Uganda.


In addition to URN for which I have worked for five years now, I have had stints at Radio Paidha, Radio Pacis, Nile FM and KFM. I have also contributed stories for The Crusader, The New Vision and The Monitor. I have also been a contributor for international news organisations like the BBC and Institute for War and Peace Reporting. I am also a local stringer for Radio Netherlands Worldwide.


I am also a media entrepreneur. I founded The West Niler newspaper and now runs Rainbow Media Corporation (Rainbow Radio 88.2 FM in Nebbi). My areas of interest are conflict and peacebuilding, business, climate change, health and children and young people, among others."