Gender minister Hajat Janat B. Mukwaya says the fruits of the Uganda Women’s Entrepreneurship Programme (UWEP), channelled through the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development are now very evident, with more groups making big strides in fighting poverty among women in Uganda.
Minister Mukwaya alongside the Permanent Secretary Mr. Pius Bigirimana and the Programme line managers are currently in Western Uganda particularly Kisoro, Ntungamo, Kabale, Kiruhura and Isingiro Districts on a Programmes implementation monitoring exercise.
On Thursday, the UWEP team alongside Kisoro District LC V Chairman Abbey Bizimana and the Kisoro Woman MP Rose Kabagyeni trekked the hilly district and were left impressed with how the Programme was supporting women through provision of interest-free credit and technical advice on, among other things, value addition, technical advice, for purposes of making women major actors in the micro, small and medium scale enterprises subsector.
Meeting with members of Gatabo Bacara Bakora women group, Minister Mukwaya and Mr. Bigirimana had a session with the women who deal in produce buying and selling. The women got Shs2.5million from UWEP; have paid back in full and have a balance of Shs2. 3million as profit, part of the money was used to procure goats or sheep for each member while they still have Sh1.3 million in cash while their business continues to thrive. At the end of their meeting, Gatabo Bacara Bakora gave UWEP a request for more funding to expand their project.
The Programmes implementation monitoring exercise thereafter met members of Matyanzo Irish growing group that has paid up it’s credit of Shs7 million and have a garden from which they expect to harvest over 40 sacks of Irish that will fetch more profit. The Gender Ministry, Kisoro District and sub county leaders are exploring ways of supporting the group to graduate into a Irish seeds producing entity.
There are two levels of funding, Shs12million and Shs25million. The highest amount that authorities at district level can endorse for allocation to a particular group is Shs12million, but projects requiring up to Shs25million can still receive funding with the approval of officials from the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development.
According to information Mr. Frank Mugabi, Communications Officer at Uganda Women Entrepreneurship Programme (UWEP), the programme was designed along the same model as that of the Youth Livelihood Development Programme and implementation and is following the same procedures and modalities.
Funding under the scheme is only available to women groups comprised of members within the age brackets of 18-65 years.
Distribution of funds is meant to be based on population of women, poverty levels and land area.