Uganda to sign bilateral labour agreement with Qatar

The Senior Presidential Advisor on Diaspora Affairs, Ambassador Hajji Abbey Walusimbi (R)in a Thursday meeting with Deputy Head of Uganda's Mission in Qatar, Muhammad Kezaala, in Kampala. Photo by SPA/DA Press Unit.

KAMPALA, UGANDA: Ugandans seeking to work in Qatar can finally smile after the Government of Uganda revealed it is set to sign a bilateral labour agreement with the State of Qatar.

This was revealed by the Senior Presidential Advisor on Diaspora Affairs, Ambassador Hajji Abbey Walusimbi during a Thursday meeting with the Deputy Head of Uganda’s Mission in Qatar, Ambassador Muhammad Kezaala, in Kampala.

According to Hajj Walusimbi, the Bilateral Labour Agreement (BLA) will be signed during the Doha Dialogue Conference which will be held in Qatar later this year.

He says the new agreement will be key in labour migration governance, to ensure safe, orderly & regular labour migration and cooperation on the protection & promotion of the rights and welfare of Ugandans working in the Middle East country.

“The BLA is to ease the way for the employment of skilled and unskilled workers from Uganda, with the aim of ensuring continued labour cooperation, promoting the rights and welfare of Ugandan migrant workers, and labour exporters, and regulating contractual relationships,” said Amb Hajj Abbey Walusimbi.

Annually, the Government of Uganda collects about $1.3 billion globally from the labour export business, with $700 million from the Gulf Region, alone.

Notably, the President of the Republic of Uganda, H.E. Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, is interested in bolstering inter-State cooperation through arrangements and more formal-binding agreements, which will pursue mutual interests in seizing opportunities and addressing challenges facing his ‘Bazzukulu’, in foreign countries.

In this sense, the BLA will usher in more job opportunities for Ugandan youth in the formal and informal sectors, including medical practitioners, engineers, drivers, housemaids, gardeners, and cargo handlers, among others.

Government is pursuing other efforts for the protection of the rights and dignity of Ugandan migrant workers. In the due course is the establishment of a robust monitoring unit, to follow up on the rights and welfare of Ugandan labourers abroad, support Embassy offices, and take action on complaints raised, and disputes that emerge.

The President’s Office for Diaspora Affairs is grateful to all stakeholders, including the Head Mission in Qatar, Foreign Affairs Ministry, Gender & Labour Ministry, Internal Affairs Ministry, and Uganda Revenue Authority, among others.

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