Emyooga programs need to be revisited, government told

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Participants listen to the report by Nassuna

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The Uganda government has been commended for supporting recovery of business activities but more efforts needs to be done to have meaningful impact to the micro and small scale entrepreneurs, according to Joanita Nassuna, the Program Associate in charge of women and economic justice at the SEATINI Uganda.

Nassuna, who presented the findings on a study dubbed ‘Analysis of the various stimulus packages offered by the government of Uganda’ at Hotel African said, there are no guidelines to measure effective implementation of the programs, neither is there monitoring and community awareness plan especially for the Emyooga Program.

“Another issue that was realized was that there were high expectations by SACCO members from this fund hence most of them feeling disappointed,” she said during a meeting held in partnership with Common Wealth Foundation and Urgent Action Fund.

“Government still has to put more emphasis in supporting local government with resources to help carry out outreach programs to ensure that they reach micro and small scale entrepreneurs in remote villages.”

Nassuna said the government needs to carryout community trainings as well as put in place policies governing utilisation and monitoring of the programs.

She said the study conducted in various regions including northern, eastern, central and western, showed that different regions had different needs and therefore called on the government to recognize the different needs of micro and small scale entrepreneurs across different parts of the country and tailor the stimulus packages to their needs.

She, however, said there has been some level of effort by the government in making the various stimulus packages work for intended beneficiaries but more still needs to be done.

“The government need to address the existing gaps in the different stimulus packages to make them work for Micro, Small and Medium enterprises,” she said.

The study noted that though most of the participants knew about the emyooga package, very few understood the criteria to access the package.

“It was only those that had accessed the package that knew about the criteria. However, those that did not know showed a lot of interest in knowing the conditions as they also wanted to benefit from the package like their counter parts,” the study noted.

For instance, in Hoima District, women entrepreneurs were very aware about the criteria of access however some of the information never seemed to make sense to them.

They were also skeptical about the modality of being joined by other groups from different constituencies who they have never related,   knowing that most of the groups had actually not saved to form a SACCO.

In some areas such as eastern Uganda, they were seemingly biased about these government programmes and showed no interest in learning about these programmes.

Silvia Okene, a beneficiary of emyooga funds for Lira District said they have benefited from the funding and it’s very good however the challenge is the time frame of paying back the funds.

 

“The grace period to start paying back the funds is very limited. This need to be increased,” She said.

 

Teddy Nalweyiso a woman entrepreneur and beneficiary of emyooga funds said that the fund is there but not enough to sustain their businesses.

 

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