As Uganda marks the International Women’s Day, business women under the Uganda Women Entrepreneurs Association (UWEAL) have urged for gender responsiveness in public procurement processes.
While addressing the press, Angela Bageine the board chairperson UWEAL noted that whereas a considerable number of women continue to play a lead role in other sectors of the economy resulting from empowerment efforts, there is need by authorities to undertake gender budgeting. Bageine says this will not only boost their incomes but also build capacity of female entrepreneurs.
“We have spent the last couple of years working strongly on PPDA and we have managed to train our women to understand the reservation schemes they have to be able to trade with government, but we are not yet there. We are asking for a gender responsive action through the 30 percent preservation scheme. We want the reservations scheme there but we also want the women to be able to meet the quarters”, Bageine explains.
Still on the same point, she proposes that for international tenders, 40 percent of supplies should be resourced from citizen contractors.
Bageine also called upon government and others stakeholders involved in the oil sector to collectively work towards sensitizing women on how to tap into the underlying opportunities to ensure that no one is left behind.
“There is an estimated 6,000 jobs expected in the Tilenga project…. We are also saying that we want the potential rate up to the engineering level. So if you are involved in that business and own an engineering company, empower women with skills to get in there”, she adds.
Regarding skilling women, Patience Kiden Naamanya the programmes manager says that UWEAL is in the process of enacting a business incubation center on its Namanve land that will help deal with value addition practices, legal and standardization services.
On top of this, she says women will be able to gain knowledge on how to expand their enterprises.
According to the 2018 master card index of women entrepreneurship, it is estimated that as of 2016, 163 million women were starting or running a business in 74 economies Uganda inclusive.
The same report indicates that 33.8% of businesses in Uganda are owned by women.