The Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development has opposed the move by Ministry of Finance to transfer the Uganda Women Entrepreneurship Programme (UWEP) to Local Government, saying it is harmful to women empowerment.
Mr Frank Mugabi, the ministry’s communications officer, said the programme has been performing well under Gender.
Mr Mugabi said the programme has created jobs for women and more than 587,755 dependents have benefited through multiplier effects at household, community and macro levels.
“UWEP is a women economic empowerment programme that fits within the mandate of the Ministry of Gender. Research has established that once programming is generalised, women tend to withdraw from such programmes,” Mr Mugabi said.
“To date, the programme has funded a total of 13,822 projects with an average of 10 projects per parish in all local governments across the country. The funded projects have reached 166,742 women. The programme has funded an average of 24.5m per parish,” he added.
Efforts to get a comment from the Ministry of Local Government were futile as officials did not respond to our repeated calls.
On March 29, the Ministry of Finance, wrote to accounting officers following the earlier approval of the parish development model (PDM) by Cabinet as the delivery mechanism for transitioning household out of the subsistence economy.
“Reference is made to second budget call circular for financial year 2021/2022 dated February 15, 2021. Further reference is made to the Cabinet meeting held on March 15 where the budget for financial year 2021/2022 and the parish model were approved,” the letter read in part. It adds that Cabinet approved the amalgamation of wealth funds into a single pool for parish economic investment.
Some of the other wealth funds approved for amalgamation financial year 2021/2022 are Luweero-Rwenzori development programme under office of the prime minister, National Agricultural Advisory Services (agricultural supplies and inputs) and Uganda Coffee Development Authority (agricultural supplies and inputs),among others.
The Ministry of Finance states that the goal of PDM is socioeconomic transformation based on improved productivity of households and enterprises at parish level. Cabinet approved the PDM as the delivery mechanism for transitioning households out of subsistence economy.
Aim of UWEP
According to Ministry of Gender, the Uganda Women Entrepreneurship Programme started its implementation in FY2015/2016 to mainly empower the most vulnerable women for entrepreneurship development and increase household incomes.
This would be achieved through provision of zero interest credit under a revolving fund mechanism, promotion of appropriate technologies for improved production and value addition and capacity building.
Source: The Monitor