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Kyeyo remittances reach Shs5 trillion mark

Many young Ugandans who cannot find jobs at home are increasingly looking for opportunities abroad, especially the Middle East. The report revealed these have sent back home huge sums of money. (FILE PHOTO)

KAMPALA- Ugandans working in different parts of the world sent back home a combined total of $1.37 billion(about Shs4.9 trillion) in 2017, a report has revealed.

According to the World Bank report for 2017 titled “Global Partnership on Migration and Development Initiative(KNOMAD),” remittances from Ugandans in the Middle East alone brought into Uganda $500 million (about Shs1.8 trillion).

Ugandans in the US, UK, China, South Africa, Canada and other parts of the world brought in a combined total of $870m (about Shs3.1 trillion).

This makes Uganda the sixth among African countries bringing in huge remittances. Top is Nigeria with $22 billion, followed by Egypt with $20b zero Ethiopia ($4.9b), Kenya ($2.2b) and Ghana($2.2b).

The report indicates that Uganda’s remittances have risen remarkably, from $224 million in 2016 and $82m in 2015.

The ministry of Gender attributes the increase to trust and confidence in the foreign jobs that have in the past been associated with fraud, human trafficking and slavery.

The chairman of the Uganda Association of External Recruitment Agencies (UAERA), Mr Andrew Kameraho, says many recruitment agencies have been registered to enable Ugandans get better jobs.

He says about 70,000 Ugandans are legally working in the Middle East countries of Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Iraq, Afghanistan, UAE, Bahrain, Qatar, Oman and Kuwait.

However, he warned that over 50,000 Ugandans are working abroad on other terms, which he said exposes them to exploitation.

“There are youth who venture on their own using tourist visas and when the visas expire, they get stranded and start calling home, creating anxiety,” he said.

Mr Pius Bigirimana, the Permanent Secretary Ministry of Gender, urged recruitment companies to respect the law.

“Ugandans sign different contracts and once they are in the Middle East, they are given different jobs. This must stop,” he said.

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