Advancing Respect for Human Rights by Businesses in Uganda

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Driving change: Enabel and EU launch transformative initiatives in Uganda

  • Enabel in partnership with EU unveil initiatives to drive sustainable development in Uganda

At the recent Uganda-EU Business Forum (UEUBF), Enabel, in collaboration with the European Union, unveiled 2 initiatives aimed at fostering sustainable development and promoting ethical business practices in Uganda. These initiatives emphasize the strong commitment by Enabel and the European Union to facilitate positive change and drive sustainable development in Uganda.

One of the flagship projects, "WeWork," sets out to address the pressing issue of youth unemployment by collaborating with the private sector to identify labour market needs. Through this initiative, Enabel will work with vocational education trainers to skill and empower 20,000 youths with the necessary expertise to secure decent employment or pursue entrepreneurial ventures. The skilling programs will focus on key sectors such as agriculture, renewable energy, green construction, eco-tourism and hospitality, manufacturing, and ICT, aligning with Uganda's strategic development priorities. The youth will be exposed to work-based learning opportunities through industrial trainings and job placements. It is anticipated that over 10,000 jobs will be created by matching skills training with labour market needs.

The second initiative, "Advancing Respect for Human Rights by Businesses in Uganda," will address the challenge of human rights abuses within business activities. With a particular emphasis on gender equality, this initiative seeks to mitigate human rights violations, especially those affecting women in the business sphere. By promoting ethical conduct and accountability, the project aims to create a more inclusive and socially responsible business environment in Uganda.

The unveiling of these projects together with 6 others under the Team Europe initiative was a key highlight of the forum.

“We are proud to unveil 8 Team Europe projects worth 850billion shillings aimed at creating decent employment in Uganda,” The European Union Ambassador, Jan Sadek said. He reiterated Uganda's positive trade balance with the EU and reaffirmed the EU's commitment to strengthening Uganda's economic growth trajectory.

The 3-day forum was graced by the presence of top dignitaries, diplomats, investors, and entrepreneurs from both Europe and Uganda. The forum comprised vibrant B2B sessions, insightful plenary discussions, and an exhibition showcasing 100 companies from both Europe and Uganda across various sectors such as agribusiness, sustainable tourism, construction, mining, and finance.

The chairman of Private Sector Foundation Uganda (PSFU) Mr. Humphrey Nzeyi stated that the forum was the biggest summit ever with 3,700 delegates. The first summit was held in 2022 and by the end of that year, 442 million Euros had been invested in Uganda. That figure has since grown to 800million Euros.  He thanked the President of Uganda for creating a liberal environment between Europe and Uganda.

President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni acknowledged the significance of European investments in Uganda while urging European leaders to refrain from mixing politics with business. He emphasized the importance of dialogue and called for the removal of non-trade barriers hindering economic cooperation.

As a symbol of commitment to the projects, President Museveni ceremonially endorsed the initiatives, signalling a new chapter in Uganda's journey towards sustainable development and economic prosperity.

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