Government Set to Resume Licensing of New External Labour Exporters

  • by Rodney Mponye
  • January 17, 2022

The Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development has said processing of new recruitment licenses will resume on 1st February 2022.

The government imposed a moratorium on licensing of new companies in April of 2019 in order to address some of the challenges in the externalization of labour programe.

Since then a number of measures have been undertaken to address some of the gaps.

Among them they has been the revision of the law culminating in to the Employment (Recruitment of Ugandan migrant workers) Regulations, 2021, statutory instrument No. 47 of 2021, which came into effect on 13th August 2021.

“During the cabinet meeting which approved the lifting of the suspension of issuance of licenses for new companies, the ministry was advised to consider establishment of shelters to enable us handle cases of Ugandans in distress or who have had their rights violated and also institute effective monitoring measures, especially in Saudi Arabia and UAE to curb persistent outery from Ugandans in those countries. This is in progress,” the ministry’s Permanent secretary, Aggrey David Kibenge said.

“Using resources from the non-tax revenues generated, we intend to deploy up to three labour attachès to reinforce our embassies in destination countries and ensure that our migrants are safe, more and better jobs secured, and those in distress are provided the necessary support they need,” he said.

The ministry embarked on the signing and/or review of the Bilateral Labour Agreements/Memorandum of Understanding on manpower supply with countries of destination.

In December 2021, the minister visited her counterpart in UAE with the aim of operationalizing the MoU, which was signed in 2019. In January 2022, the minister will visit Qatar to sign the MoU which was negotiated in 2017 as well as Saudi Arabia to review the MoU signed in 2017. Negotiating of agreements with Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Turkey and Jordan is at various stages.

The migrant workers are mostly deployed in the Middle East countries of the Royal Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Afghanistan, Bahrain, Iraq, Kuwait and Qatar.

The ministry has to date licensed 216 private external labour recruitment companies and over 300,000 Ugandans have been formally externalized to work abroad since 2005.

The new regulations have introduced a number of measures that can be found on the website


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