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Youth runs to Dubai after receiving Emyooga money, best performing SACCOs to get extra seed capital

By Alex Baluku

Some of the beneficiaries of Emyooga Program in Kyegegwa District are reportedly running out of the Country to the Middle East.

Emyooga is a word derived from a local Ugandan dialect (Runyankole) to refer to specialized skills enterprises/groups. It is a shillings 260bn presidential initiative program on wealth and job creation that is geared towards transforming Ugandans through savings.

The objective of the program is to create development through promoting access to and usage of financial services and mostly targeting the financially excluded Ugandans. President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni launched the program in August 2019 as part of the government effort to improve household incomes.

Now, the Kyegegwa District Commercial Officer, Robert Mugisa, says a section of the youth who received the Emyooga money through their Associations have used the funds to facilitate their travel Journeys to go to the Arab country and end up not refunding the revolving money.

Kyegegwa District Commercial Officer-Robert Mugisa speaking to the press shortly after the engagement meeting at Ataco Country Resort in Fort-Portal Tourism City.

Mr. Mugisa was on Thursday giving a presentation during the Microfinance Support Center Limited stakeholders engagement meeting held at Ataco Country Resort Hotel in Fort-Portal Tourism City. The engagement meeting was attended by the Resident District Commissioners, Resident City Commissioners, District Commercial Officers and the District Community Development Officers from across the Kabarole Emyooga zone.  

At least an average of 12,000 Ugandans leave the country to the Middle East in search of employment, according to government data.

According to data sourced from the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development, under which labour externalized is supervised, indicates that the number of Ugandans seeking employment in the Middle East has been growing since 2010, becoming one of the biggest stock of labour opportunities and source of remittance.

In response to the reports of youth running out of the country shortly after receiving Emyooga money, members of the Stakeholders engagement meeting, cited need for the District Internal Security Officers-DISOs to always carry out a thorough scrutiny of the persons intending to travel out of the country, so that they don’t allow defaulters of the program.

Bunyangabu RDC tips hiss colleagues on they can deal with defaulters of Emyooga program intending to fly out of the country .

The Emyooga program is currently being implemented by Microfinance Support Center-MSC in conjunction with the District Emyooga Taskforce that are set up in each district and chaired by the Resident District Commissioners/Resident City Commissioners, and the program is leveraging according to the RDCs from the 12 districts that make up Kabarole Emyooga zone.

Mr. Gidson Ainamani, the Head of Business Development at the Microfinance Support Center Limited facilitating at the stakeholders engagement meeting held on Thursday at Ataco Country Resort Hotel in For-portal Tourism City.

The program has improved financial literacy skills among beneficiaries. The Kasese Resident District Commissioner Lt. Joe Walusimbi, during his presentation, said that through various trainings conducted by the combined team of the district taskforce and MSC, the SACCO members have gained knowledge and skills in the areas of savings and share capital mobilization, investment loan management and record-keeping and governance something he said would help in the sustainability of the program.

The senior RDC excited officials from the Microfinance Support Center-MSC when he mentioned that loan recoveries are being realized in his area of jurisdiction. Walusimbi was recognized as one of the best five performing RDCs in Emyooga program and was gifted with Shillings 500,000.

Resident District Commissioners of the best 5 Performing Districts receiving their gift of 500,000/=. In the action photo is Lt. Joe Walusimbi from Kasese

CHALLENGES

In Kabarole zone, it was noted that monitoring needs more funding. The overall monitoring of the Emyooga was assigned to the resident district commissioners and the district commercial officer and during the meeting, members realized that the RDCs and the DCO are not funded to effectively monitor, evaluate and audit all beneficiaries and disbursement of funds.

A member in the meeting said that DCOs and the parish commercial officers lack motorcycles or vehicles to supervise the initiative within their areas of jurisdiction. Kabarole zone is made up of 12 districts including Kasese, Bunyangabu, KKabarole, Fort-portal Tourism City, Ntoroko, Bundibugyo, Kamwenge, Kyegegwa, Mubende, Kasanda, Kitagwenda and Kyenjojo.

Members of the Stakeholders Meeting at Ataco Country Resort in Fort-portal city

RECOMMENDATION

The most obvious recommendation that dominated the engagement meeting was the need for more funding of Emyooga SACCOs with additional seed capital and a fair distribution of capital according to the associations in each group.

In her response to the issues raised, Hellen Petronilla Masika, the Deputy Executive Director for Microfinance Support Center, quickly said that all the best performing SACCOs in the Rwenzori Region were set to receive extra seed capital worth shillings 20 million in order to address the issue of insufficient funds. The Deputy ED said that this will be followed by a loan advancement which will come at an interested rate that is so friendly.

Deputy Executive Director for Microfinance Support Center addressing members of the press shortly after the stakeholders engagement meeting on Thursday at Ataco Country Resort in Fort-Portal Tourism City.

Masika is currently traversing the country in the implementation of the Emyooga program. Masika also said that the issue of facilitation for the RDCs and RCC was going to be handled but for technocrats they will be paid depending on work done. Technocrats are mandated with making monthly reports and doing follow-ups on the beneficiaries.

RDCs should not worry about their facilitation “Deputy ED at Microfinance Support Center-Hellen Petronilla Masika” asserts




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