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SPEECH

BY

H.E. YOWERI KAGUTA MUSEVENI


PRESIDENT
AT
THE NATIONAL LABOUR DAY CELEBRATIONS 2015

THEME:
ACCELERATING SOCIO-ECONOMIC TRANSFORMATION
THROUGH PROMOTION OF THE DECENT WORK
AGENDA, SOCIAL JUSTICE AND EQUITY

KISORO

1ST MAY, 2015

H.E. the Vice President of the Republic of Uganda;


Rt. Hon. Speaker of Parliament of Uganda;
The Rt. Hon. Chief Justice of Uganda;
The Rt. Hon. Prime Minister of the Republic of Uganda;
Rt. Hon. Leader of the Opposition;
Your Royal Highnesses, the Traditional Leaders;
Hon. Ministers and Ministers of State;
Honourable Members of Parliament;
Members of the Diplomatic Corps;
The Religious Leaders;
The Regional Director of the International Labour
Organization,
The Workers fraternity;
The Employers;
Ladies and Gentlemen.

The historical mission of the National Resistance Movement


(NRM) Government is to transform Uganda from a partiallyindustrial country, to a modern, prosperous country. In
working towards the transformation of Uganda, the NRM
Government recognizes and upholds the role workers and

employers play in the economy. The Government is therefore


committed to the promotion of the decent work agenda,
social justice and equity.

Therefore, todays National Labour Day Celebrations theme


of: Accelerating socio-economic transformation through
promoting decent work agenda, social justice and
equity

resonates

with

our

long-term

objective

of

transforming livelihoods.
Socio-economic transformation is a process in which an
increasing proportion of economic output and employment
are generated by sectors other than agriculture. The
restoration of peace in 1986 has led to good economic
management and performance.

Social justice is advanced when barriers that people face


because of gender, age, race, ethnicity, religion, culture or
disability are removed.

Social justice demands that all

people have a right to basic human dignity where their basic


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economic needs are met. It entails dealing with poverty,


racism, sexism, classism and all other forms of stigma.
Equity is about fairness. It is derived from a concept of social
justice. It entails equitable distribution of opportunities and
resources.

Decent work, social justice and equity in workplaces play a


fundamental role in developing a creative and committed
labour cadre. Decent employment has got a multiplier effect
which creates an effective middle class that supports
savings, investments, consumption, thereby accelerating
socio-economic transformation.

To promote decent work agenda, the NRM Government


will continue to focus on: availability of productive work
opportunities, ensuring fair incomes to workers as the
economy

improves,

workplaces,

promoting

emphasizing

safety

security
and

of

health

tenure

in

issues

in

workplaces, expanding social protection coverage for workers


and their families, working towards social dialogue between
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employees and employers, elimination of all forms of child


labour and combating trafficking of persons.

In addition to this decent work agenda, the NRM Government


will also continue to focus on mainstreaming and deepening
social justice and equity at all levels, in all workplaces.

Wealth creation through sustainable production is critical


to the social economic transformation of Uganda. Countries
with

significantly higher

productivity

will

achieve

levels of

labour output

socio-economic

and

transformation

relatively quicker than countries with a slow and lazy


attitude towards work.

In order to promote job creation and accelerate socioeconomic

transformation,

the

NRM

Government

has

identified many critical areas of focus, for example:


Agriculture and value addition: Agriculture is the main
sector of the Ugandan economy. Emphasis should be put on
commercial Agriculture as opposed to subsistence farming.
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Large scale growing of tea, coffee, cotton, tobacco, sugar,


fruits, cereals and rearing of livestock and fishing among
others promote job creation and employment.

The opportunity for value addition through agro processing


is enormous. This will enhance Ugandas competitiveness on
the world market, boost foreign exchange earnings and
employment. It can also reduce wastage, enhance food
security, improve livelihoods for low-income groups and
empower disadvantaged groups of society like rural women,
youth and the disabled.

As a way of increasing agricultural productivity, Government


will continue to: invest in the development of all major
irrigation

schemes

in

the

country;

ensure

continued

investment in technology improvement through research for


improved seeds, breeds and stocking materials; invest in the
development of the phosphates industry in Tororo to reduce
the cost of fertilizers.

Government is committed to reforming the extension system


in the country to increase information access, knowledge and
technologies to the farmers; ensure that land fragmentation
is reversed to secure land for mechanization; collect adequate
agricultural statistics; improve weather information and its
dissemination and intensify environmental control measures
to halt the decline in soil fertility.

Fragmentation of land is a very bad practice. In areas where


land is scarce, it is advisable to share proceeds from the land
but not dividing the land.

Industrialization is another critical area for job creation


acceleration of socio-economic transformation. There was
strong recovery of the industrial sector during the period
2012/13. This sector grew in 2012/13 by an estimated 6.8
percent compared to 2.5 percent in FY 2011/12. The key
driver for this growth was recovery of the construction sector
which grew by 8.2 percent and accounted for 61 percent of
the value added to the sector.
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To build a stronger and more competitive industrial base,


the Governments approach will include;
(i)

developing industries that utilise the local potential,

(ii)

attracting industries that can be relocated from fast


emerging economies,

(iii) off-shoring industries,


(iv) establishing economic lifeline industries, and
(v)

investing in strategic industries.

The young people who constitute about 78% of the


population will get jobs through the promotion of industrial
growth.

Tourism and services industry is increasingly growing fast


and providing significant employment to many Ugandans.
The tourism sector has been growing consistently since the
restoration of peace and security. As a source of employment,
the sector employs an estimated 200,000 people, which is 6.6
percent of the total labor force, with 180,900 people
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employed directly in travel and tourism in Uganda. This


figure rises to 447,400 people when all jobs indirectly
supported by the tourism industry are factored in.

Tourism is projected to grow even further as the country


moves into the top 5 tourist destinations in Africa due to the
variety of tourism attractions including diverse nature based,
faith based, culture and heritage, and eco-tourism.

The ICT Sector is very crucial to job creation, and, hence


social economic transformation. Currently, the ICT sector
contributes between 5 percent and 6.5 percent to Ugandas
GDP and employs over 1 million people (directly and
indirectly).

Knowledge economy is the one driving new information


technology, Internet revolution and machines that are
essential in ensuring business efficiency. You have seen how
taxes can now be paid through Electronic Tax system. You do

not have to line up to pay your tax obligations. But the


patent holders of the system are earning decent money.

Government

has

goals

and

objectives,

which

are

implemented

by the responsible Minister through the

administrative machinery under him, called the Public


Service. However this may not provide all the jobs that are
required because the public Service employs about 300,000
people only.

It is recognized that the value of good Public Services is very


critical to development; that is why the NRM government has
under taken Public Service Reforms. The purpose of the Civil
Service Reforms Programme is to improve effectiveness and
performance of the civil service.
There has been an increase in total employment during the
last three years. The percentage of the working labour force
increased from 70.9 percent in 2009/10 to 75.4 percent by
2012/13. However, the percentage of people employed in the
formal sector is very small compared to those who are self9

employed. The proportion of the labour force that is selfemployed rose from 70.9 percent in 2009/10 to 81.5 percent.

The NRM Government has created over thirteen million jobs


in the private Sector for this growing labour force. In
addition, the Government has enacted several legislations
aimed at improving employment conditions and labour
relations. According to the Uganda National Household
Survey, (UNHS, 2012/2013); there are 13,896,000 working
persons; of whom, 6,827,000 are males and, 7,069,000 are
females.

The

informal

sector

constitutes

significant

component of the national employment. There are 3,823,000


informal sector businesses in rural Uganda; of which,
1,709,000 are in the non-farm activities.

Labour markets abroad provide employment opportunities for


Ugandans in the short run as the country develops its
capacity to generate sufficient jobs for its labour force. The
United Nations estimated that 628,845 Ugandans lived and

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worked outside Uganda in 2013, of which 53 percent were


women.

As of May 2014, 29 external employment recruitment


agencies had been licensed and over 42,000 Ugandans
formally recruited and deployed in Iraq, United Arab
Emirates, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, Somalia and
South

Sudan.

Migrant

workers

remittances

into

the

economy were estimated at USD 1,392 million in FY2012/13


which represented a significant increase of 215.5 percent
from USD 646 million in FY2011/12. The remittances
account for 4.6 percent of the GDP. In addition to the
remittances, the migrants have acquired new skills, methods
of work, and experience.

I am informed that the number of labour unions who are


partners has gone up by 50%. I therefore call upon the
workers to partner with government and employers and in
particular:

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(i)

Mobilise and sensitise the workers on ethics


and attitudes to work, obtain multi- skills to
remain relevant and competitive on the labour
market at national and international level.

(ii)

Develop effective and strong unions for


effective negotiations and social dialogue.

(iii)

Be patriotic and avoid the confrontational


approach to

resolving

labour

employment issues. Confrontation

and
is

detrimental to national development.

I congratulate the Federation of Uganda Employers for


developing

various

development,
competitiveness

initiatives

increased
of

which

level

enterprises

of

focus

on

skills

productivity

and

and

performance

improvement.

The involvement of all the social partners should be


anchored in promoting social economic transformation

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through the promotion of decent work, social justice and


equity.

In conclusion, I thank all Ugandans in your various


capacities for your contribution to the national development
of the country. I urge you to work harder in order to achieve
our national development goals.

I congratulate you on this years International Labour Day


celebrations.

I thank you.

Yoweri Kaguta Museveni


PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF UGANDA
1st May, 2015

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