KAMPALA – The World Bank has described the government’s popular approach of training institutions producing job creators, and not job seekers as flawed and responsible for the rising unemployment in the country.
The report titled ‘Uganda: Jobs Strategy for Inclusive Growth, and published on Tuesday said producing job creators is a “flawed strategy that would make conditions worse unless demand increases faster.”
The Bank rather recommends that focus be shifted to producing more exports as well as displacing imports in selected domestic markets.
Mr Dino Leonardo Merotto, the lead author of the report, said stakeholders should not only focus on creating more jobs, but more quality jobs with high productivity wages through the facilitation of trade.
“As more people are joining the workforce, they are having to work longer hours to make ends meet because their average earnings are declining,” Mr Merotto said.
World Bank country manager Tony Thompson said for Uganda to achieve middle-income status, the country must create more quality jobs. He added that the report provides data and evidence that will inform practical solutions to the obstacles facing the fight against unemployment.
The Worlds Bank said Uganda will, therefore, need to accelerate the transformation of agriculture from rudimentary to modern practices to harness its potential to create jobs and create economic transformation.
“Agriculture, food production and services particularly have strong potential for jobs and economic growth… Agriculture is by far the largest employer in Uganda and so improving the productivity of jobs in the broader food and horticulture is obviously a priority… Agriculture is labour intensive with high employment elasticities …involving those most marginalised: the poor, women, the youth and rural citizens,” the report says.
The report also recommends improving access to agricultural inputs, use of technology, improving land security, offering improved storage for products, and implementation of regional trade agreements, among others.