Matia Kasaija who is the Minister of Finance, Planning and Economic Development has wondered why young girls including graduates still travel to the Middle East in search of jobs, in spite of the increasing cases of torture and deaths. 

He also wondered why young men with degrees resort to boda boda business and other odd jobs, saying he feels a lot of pain seeing such a situation in a country like Uganda which is endowed with a lot of riches. 

Minister Kasaija made the remarks during the launch of the Sustainability Certification Process by Bank of Uganda (BoU) together with the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development (MOFPED) and the European Organization for Sustainable Development (EOSD), at Kampala Serena Hotel.

He noted that, “If you have travelled recently through our airport, the first thing you notice are hundreds of youths leaving the country for household jobs in the Middle East and other destinations, shame upon us for not making this economy vibrant to create more jobs. We need to move very fast on that and that is my dream every day. I am worried about the youth.”

Despite the clear and present danger awaiting them, hundreds of people, mostly youth, some of them university graduates, still throng the offices of the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development and offices of the many labour recruitment agencies for jobs abroad. 

He continued that, “It is a shame, with all the resources we have in this country, we can’t create enough jobs. What sort of people are we? Playing around games. When you get the stories of those girls go through when they go to the Middle East, you cry, those of us who are parents.”

The minister narrated it is very sad to see our streets full of hundreds of young men who are very well educated but riding boda bodas to earn a living.

“You go there and see the forest of those young youths. I don’t mind being a boda boda rider but a graduate from Makerere University. Some of them are even doctors riding a boda boda as a job on a daily basis, no way,” he noted. 

On the same streets, Kasaija said there are also hundreds of young girls hawking all manner of goods while others walk the whole day to look for the means of survival, a situation he said is unbearable.

The Ministry of Gender report for the period 2016 and part of 2022 detailed that an average of 24,086 Ugandans leave Uganda annually in search of employment, especially to the Middle East.

During the same occasion,Julius Kakeeto, the Managing Director/CEO, PostBank congratulated the Bank of Uganda on the launch of the Sustainability Certification Process and Housing Finance Bank for enlisting for SSCI, emphasising that PostBank has always been a socially oriented bank with focus on social and environmental governance.

“In partnership with, the bank has supported the implementation of sanitation projects in and around Kampala, supported renewable energy through granting affordable and subsidised solar loans and facilitated the upkeep of persons of concern, the bank has paid hundreds of thousands of households across the country. In addition, we’ve conducted several financial literacy programs.”

“Now, we are venturing into embedding sustainability in our strategy and everything we do. Our first step was the Integrated Financial Report, subsequently enlisting in the SSCI – which we believe will support our transformation into a more resilient and value-driven financial institution,” Kakeeto remarked.

The SSCI is currently only available to members who have demonstrated their capacity in adapting new standards and top management commitment to sustainability.