ISSUE 53 | JUNE 2023





Dear Esteemed Member,

It has been an extraordinary month of opportunity to propel the Federation to greater heights.

As the sole Employers’ representative in Uganda, FUE was delighted to participate in the International Labour Conference (ILC) 2023 that was convened in Geneva. Delegates from employer organisations, workers unions and governments of 187

International Labour Organisation (ILO) states gathered to discuss world of work issues. The significant highlight of ILC 2023 was the adoption of a new international labour standard on Quality Apprenticeships aimed to support opportunities for people of all ages to skill, re-skill and up-skill in the rapidly changing labour markets. FUE is committed to advocating for skills development initiatives at the workplace to boost productivity and promote efficient service delivery to advance economic growth.

In a bid to achieve Target 8.7 of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which is to ‘Take immediate and effective measures to eradicate forced labour, end modern slavery and human trafficking as well as secure the prohibition and elimination of the worst forms of child labour, FUE joined the world to commemorate the World Day Against Child Labour (WDACL) on 12th June 2023 under the theme, ’Social Justice For All: End Child Labour’. Special appreciation to social partners namely the ILO, Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development (MGLSD) and other stakeholders for their technical and financial support that has enabled the Federation eliminate child labour in supply chains through the Accelerating Action for the Elimination of Child Labour in Supply Chains in Africa (ACCEL Africa) Project. We implore Employers to uphold decent work standards during work operations to end child labour by 2025.

As we commence a new financial year 2023/24, FUE encourages the Employers’ fraternity to apply best human resource practices, maximise networking opportunities and remit statutory taxes to create a conducive business environment and increase Gross Domestic Product (GDP). We look forward to the next quarter with expectation to thrive in all business endeavors.

Thank you,
Together for Employers.

Douglas Opio

Executive Director.




The International Labour Organisation (ILO) annually convenes the International Labour Conference (ILC) as a platform for Employers, Workers and Government representatives from the 187 ILO member states to discuss world of work issues. The ILC 2023 was convened from 5th to 16th June 2023 at United Nations Geneva. The main issues for discussion included a just transition towards sustainable and inclusive economies, quality apprenticeships and labour protection. Our Executive Director, Douglas Opio represented Employers on the Ugandan delegation that attended ILC 2023.

FUE represents employers’ views regarding pertinent issues at the workplace during plenary sessions and other discussions at the ILC. Mr. Opio had the opportunity to interact with great leaders such as H.E. Dr. William Ruto, the President of the Republic of Kenya, Mr. Gilbert Houngbo, the ILO Director General, Ms. Deborah France-Massin, the Director of the ILO Bureau for Employers Activities (ACT/EMP), Mr. Roberto Suarez Santos, the Secretary General of International Organisation of Employers as well as Ms. Mia Amor Mottley, the Prime Minister, Barbados. These networking opportunities were significant to benchmark good employment practices and paved way for collaboration and partnerships to advance business growth and ease labour migration.

During the World of Work summit, delegates adopted a new international labour standard on Quality Apprenticeships to support opportunities for people of all ages to skill, re-skill and up-skill continuously in rapidly changing labour markets. The labour standard provides a clear definition of apprenticeships, specifies aspirational standards for quality apprenticeships, including rights and protection for apprentices. In addition, conclusions on just transitions and labour protection were adopted.

Watch a recap video of ILC 2023 below:

It’s expedient for tripartite partners, policy makers, heads of states and other leaders to meet and discuss strategies on skills development, disability inclusion, occupational safety and health to promote decent work standards for sustainable development.


At the 5th Global Conference for the Elimination of Child Labour in 2022, countries adopted the Durban Call to Action that emphasises the need for urgent action to end child labour. The World Day Against Child Labour (WDACL) was commemorated on 12th June 2023 under the theme, ‘Social Security for All: End Child Labour’. FUE, the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development (MGLSD), representatives from the International Labour Organisation (ILO) were in attendance. Hon. Sarah Mateke, the State Minister for Youth and Children 

Affairs graced the event as Guest of Honor with other dignitaries including Mr. Jealous Chirove, the Director ILO Country Office, Dar-es-Salaam, representatives of workers unions, Employers and other significant stakeholders.

FUE has been instrumental in the fight against child labour by conducting trainings and sensitisation meetings to equip Employers with practical skills to eliminate child labour in supply chains through the ACCEL program. Collaborations and partnerships with social partners such as the ILO, MGLSD and workers unions have been significant in providing technical and financial support to eliminate the worst forms of child labour. We urge Employers to develop policies against recruiting children and carry out Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) activities aimed at providing scholarships and other resources to support education.

In order to end child labour in all its forms by 2025, FUE pledges to support Employers through information sharing, awareness raising, social dialogue, research and enforcement of child labour legislation at the workplace. Let’s join efforts to protect children from exploitation and maltreatment that is detrimental to a productive future labour force.


The National Budget for the financial year 2023/2024 was presented on Thursday, 15th June 2023 under the theme: “Full Monetisation of Uganda’s Economy through Commercial Agriculture, Industrialisation, Expanding and Broadening Services, Digital Transformation and Market Access”. The budget is aligned with the objectives of the Third National Development Plan (NDP III) to accelerate the socio-economic transformation for all Ugandans.

Prior to its reading, the budget had to be first approved by Parliament on Thursday, 18th May 2023 in accordance with the Public Finance Management Act, 2015. According to the Budget Speech for financial year 2023/2024, the size of Uganda’s economy is currently estimated at Shs. 184.3 Trillion (US$ 49.4 billion) from Shs. 162.9 Trillion (US$ 45.6 billion) for the previous financial year. This significant expansion of the economy is

currently estimated at Shs. 184.3 Trillion (US$ 49.4 billion) from Shs. 162.9 Trillion (US$ 45.6 billion) for the previous financial year. This significant expansion of the economy is attributed to good performance of the services sector which grew at 6.2%, compared to 4.1% in the previous year, agriculture at 5.0%, while industry grew at 3.9%, driven largely by manufacturing and construction activities, especially in the oil and gas industry. Economic growth rate is reportedly at 5.5% compared to 4.6% in the last financial year.

In the next financial year, the economy is projected to grow at 6% growth rate. The economic growth strategy underlying the budget for the next financial year and the medium term includes; increased domestic revenue mobilization and a reduction in non- concessional borrowing to ensure debt sustainability; effective implementation of the Parish Development Model and Emyooga initiatives; effective implementation of the various export strategies and enhancing access to global and regional markets; support for the private sector by reducing the cost of doing business through construction of the Standard Gauge Railway and the rehabilitation of the Meter Gauge Railway; development of small scale solar-powered irrigation schemes to address climate change and ensure food security; maintenance of both tarmac and murram roads; continued investments in industrial parks and energy transmission lines; provision of affordable credit for micro and small enterprises and low-income groups through the Small Business Recovery Fund, Emyooga and Microfinance Support Centre; and funding for medium to large enterprises through the Uganda Development Bank.

Other strategies include, provision of quality seedlings, pesticides, fertilizers, storage and marketing in the agro-industrialization value chain in order to increase agricultural production and productivity; the construction of the East African Crude Oil Pipeline and the National Oil Refinery; expansion of the country’s skilled labour force to meet the demand of a diversified economy especially industrial skills; mitigation of the negative impact of climate change on the economy and livelihoods; and Implementation of the Greater Kampala Metropolitan Infrastructure Development Master Plan; and maintenance of peace and security of persons and property.

The overall objective of the Financial Year 2023/2024 Budget Strategy is to restore the economy back to the medium-term growth path of 6-7 percent per annum, improve competitiveness of the economy and to sustain Uganda socio-economic transformation agenda.

The total resource envelope for financial year 2023/2024 amounts to Shs. 52.7 trillion. The fiscal strategy for next financial year and medium term prioritizes on enhancing revenue collection, the rationalization of public expenditure and ensuring long term debt sustainability.

However, no major changes in taxes rates have been proposed for next financial year a part from measures to improve the governance of tax exemptions. According to Matia Kasaija, Minister of Finance, Planning and Economic Development, the focus will be to expand the tax base without increasing the burden on the same taxpayers. The following tax changes have been made;

  • The size of investment capital required for an investor to benefit from excise duty exemption on construction materials has been reduced to US$ 5 million from US$ 50 million for Uganda nationals. However, foreign investors will be required to have investment capital of at least US$ 50 million in order to benefit from this exemption.
  • Excise duty on mineral water, bottled water and other water purposely for drinking has been imposed at 10% or Shs 75 per litre whichever is higher.
  • A withholding tax of 10% has been imposed on commissions paid to agent bankers to equalize their tax treatment with other agents operating similar businesses such as mobile money agents.
  • The scope of electronic services on which VAT is applicable has been expanded to include among others, films, games of chance, advertising platforms, streaming platforms, cab-hailing services, cloud storage and data warehousing.
  • 0% duty levied on imports of raw materials and capital goods.
  • 10% duty to be charged on imports of intermediate goods.
  • 25% duty to be charged on imports of finished goods not readily available in the East African Region.
  • A maximum rate of 35% duty to be charged on imports of finished goods readily available in the East African Region.

Therefore, Shs. 52.7 trillion Resource Envelope for the Financial Year 2023/2024 is expected to be raised from both domestic and external sources in the following proportions.

  • Domestic revenue for the next financial year is projected at Shs. 29.7 trillion of which Shs. 27.4 trillion will be tax revenue and Shs. 2.3 trillion will be Non-Tax Revenue.
  • Domestic borrowing projected at Shs. 3.2 trillion.
  • Budget support accounts for Shs. 2.8 trillion.
  • External financing for projects amounts to Shs. 8.3 trillion; of which Shs. 3.01 trillion is from grants, and Shs. 5.3 trillion is from loans.
  • Appropriation in Aid, collected by Local Governments amounts to Shs. 287 billion.
  • Domestic Debt Refinancing will amount to Shs 8.4 trillion.
  • Other financing Shs. 229.0 billion.
  • Shs. 9.1 trillion has been allocated to security, governance, the legislature and the administration of justice.
  • Shs. 9.6 trillion has been allocated as interventions to build human capital including education and training, healthcare services and safe water provision.
  • Shs. 60 billion has been allocated for skilling the youth through the Presidential Industrial Hubs initiative in the skilling centers across the country to grow local enterprises.
  • Shs. 4.5 trillion has been budgeted for road maintenance and construction, railway development and rehabilitation, water and air transport development.
  • Shs. 2.4 Trillion has been allocated for interventions to support the private sector growth through industrial parks’ development, promotion of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and for facilitating tourism development.
  • From the fore mentioned allocation for the private sector interventions, Shs 209.3 billion has been allocated to SMEs in the manufacturing and export sectors through the Investment for Industrial Transformation and Employment (INVITE) Project to increase Ugandan manufactured export products, generate direct and indirect jobs for more than 200,000 workers, and safeguard existing jobs for 530,000 workers.
  • Shs. 249 billion has been allocated for the promotion of Tourism, and the balance is for industrial parks’ development in 18 zones across the country.
  • Shs. 2.2 trillion has been allocated for food security, irrigation, climate change mitigation, value chain development, agricultural research and disease control, among others as means of commercialising agriculture.
  • Shs. 1.3 trillion has been allocated for Electricity interventions including construction of 761 km of transmission lines and associated power sub-stations to improve the stability and reliability of the networks, and for capacity building of the Uganda Electricity Generation and Transmission companies to manage the generation and distribution networks.
  • Shs. 1.1 Trillion has been allocated for the Parish Development Model to boost household incomes as well as the development of micro-enterprises in 10,459 parishes nationwide.
  • Shs. 100 billion has been allocated to the Emyooga initiative to boost household incomes and micro enterprises at parish and sub-county levels by directly funding parish and sub-county level enterprise groups.
  • Shs.447 billion has been allocated to fast track the development of petroleum resources including preparatory work for the development of a petrochemical industry at the Kabaale Petro-based Industrial Park.
  • Shs. 192 billion has been provided to accelerate digital transformation including establishing free Wi-Fi hotspots to 820 locations to enhance public service delivery. The targeted areas include schools, hospitals, markets in the selected sub-regions, tourism sites, and the police stations.
  • Shs. 257 billion has been allocated to support science, innovation and technology development.
  • Shs. 54.3 billion has been allocated for the development of minerals including quantifying Uganda’s mineral deposits to ascertain their value.
  • Shs. 200 billion has been allocated to settle domestic arrears.

Therefore, the government’s focus to restore the economy back to the medium-term growth path, improve competitiveness of the economy and sustain Uganda socio-economic transformation agenda is evident in the 2023/2024 budget allocations. All that is required is to ensure budgetary discipline and control. Excessive borrowing to finance supplementary budgets is not a good idea as it would create more problems. For instance, external borrowing would worsen the already huge national debt burden and its associated effects while internal borrowing would crowd out local investors and businesses from accessing affordable credit. In addition, there is need to ensure timely release of funds for the planned programs, projects and activities, avoid unnecessary bureaucracy and above all fight corruption in the service delivery.


A domestic inquiry is an internal hearing held by an employer to ascertain whether an employee is guilty of misconduct. On 21st and 22nd June 2023, we were pleased to host a General Training on, ‘A Step By Step Guide To Making A Domestic Inquiry At The Workplace’ at the FUE Training Center in Kiwanga-Namanve. Participants included business owners, Human Resource (HR) practitioners, legal professionals, supervisors, union representatives among others.

The training provided a comprehensive understanding regarding the legal framework governing labour relations in Uganda. Participants were taught relevant sections of the Employment Act, statutory requirements and other applicable regulations that inform the process of conducting a domestic inquiry. Furthermore, Employers received practical guidance on handling workplace misconduct, grievances and disciplinary matters in a fair, transparent and legally compliant manner.

A harmonious work environment is a valuable asset to promote workforce productivity and business growth. We encourage business leaders to develop a strategy to solve internal conflicts amicably to reduce industrial court action.

To request a customised training suited to your organisation needs, contact Yusuf Nsubuga, the Training Manager on


The State of the Nation Address (SONA) was delivered on Wednesday 7th June 2023 by His Excellency Yoweri Kaguta Museveni at Kololo Independence Grounds. The SONA is delivered annually as a constitutional duty for the assessment of government’s achievements in respect to policy promises over the year. The event was attended by Members of Parliament, Ministers, academics and the international community among others.

The President in his speech declared the economy will hit the $55 billion mark in 12 months, with economic growth expected to grow at 5.5% compared to 4.7% in 2022. He encouraged Ugandans to invest in manufacturing, adopt the Parish Development Model (PDM) and support growth of small and medium enterprises. Mr. Museveni further emphasised the reduction in the rapid increase of prices due to inflation.

Additionally, the President advocated for concentration on tourism that earned the country over $ 1 billion by December 2022. Infrastructural development was highlighted as a significant priority for government to ease service delivery and trade across borders.

Employers are implored to tap into tourism, manufacturing and service sectors to contribute to the economic growth of Uganda.


On 9th June 2023, Uganda commemorated the 34th Heroes Day at Kasaala Parish grounds, Luwero District under the theme, ’Arise Uganda: Our Heroes Sacrifices Are Now Bearing Fruit’. National Heroes Day is commemorated annually to honor all countrymen and countrywomen who were violently murdered in 1973. The Prime Minister of Uganda, Rt. Hon. Robinah Nabbanja officiated the event on behalf of the President and in attendance were several government officials, international diplomats, local leaders and the general public.

The President’s speech delivered by the Prime Minister revealed the Government’s plan to reward war veterans for their sacrifices to liberate Uganda. Rt. Hon. Robinah Nabbanja launched the construction of the 29km Luweero-Butalangu Road that will ease trade and improve livelihoods of various families. Additionally, 51 individuals received medals for their service and positive contribution to Uganda.

FUE is immensely grateful to all individuals and leaders that have worked tirelessly for the peace and harmony of our great nation paving way for socio-economic transformation.



“If you always do what you always did, you will always get what you always got”, says Albert Einstein, a Scientist and Nobel Prize laureate. In other words, Einstein says, it would be extremely unreasonable to expect different results when you do the same thing over and over again. Building an innovation culture, the practices that support and strengthen innovation as a significant aspect of progress and growth of your organization is very crucial. A strong innovation culture is the engine that drives the organization to constantly get better. It is the key to your business success.

Innovation is how you survive and thrive in the marketplace. If you want to remain relevant and profitable, you need to make innovation a habit. Innovation is a must whether in business enterprise or non-for-profit organization one must innovate in order to thrive and compete in this competitive business world.

According to Webster’s dictionary, Innovation is described as the introduction of something new; a new idea, method, or device. In other words, innovation is the mindset of possibility that allows the seeds of change to take root. While creativity is thinking up new things, innovation is doing new things.

Scott Noppe-Brandon from Lincoln Center Institute of Executive Directors positions innovation within the context of the ICI Continuum (Imagination, Creativity and Innovation). He says that the process starts with imagination, which is a safe space to explore possibilities. Imagination then sparks creativity, and creativity leads to innovation.

Innovation can also be expressed as an “if, then” proposition. For instance, “If” we can explore these new markets/customers, change to these new strategies, build these new products and /or services, improve on these processes by making them more efficient, and lead by example as leaders in our various positions within the organization “then” our efforts will result into measurable and meaningful gains for the organization. As Robert Iger rightly puts it, creativity and innovation is the heart and soul of the organisation.

Indeed, leaders in some companies have quickly recognized that their organization’s competitive position primarily depends on their capacity for constant transformation. According to Jim Hunt, a business innovation expert, a creative mindset is increasingly on high demand in organisations as creative thinking fuels innovation which leads to new goods and services, new strategies, job creation and also substantial economic gains. Therefore, innovation is the central issue in economic prosperity.

However, innovation cannot happen overnight. It needs constant efforts based on some major factors which can be termed as pillars of innovation. These include strategy, processes, structure, resources/people, leadership and workplace culture. These pillars provide immense support to the organization in building a culture that drives creativity and innovation (Maitreayee Bora, 2022).

Whereas the organizational strategy, processes, structure and resources are necessary factors for innovation, the overriding factors are two: workplace culture that emotionally connects people to the strategic direction of an organization and encourages a continuous flow of ideas that support innovation efforts. The second is leadership which clearly communicates the desire for innovation, embraces new ideas, set priorities and track progress.

According to Tony Bond, an innovation expert, organisations interested in positioning themselves for greater innovation can start by examining the following areas: How engaged are the leaders at various levels in seeking and responding to ideas? The degree to which teamwork and social collaboration are fostered in the organization, and whether there exists an appetite for risk. By focusing on these aspects of your culture, driving innovation can become one of your company’s competitive advantages.

Jesse Nieminen (2020) defines workplace culture as the sum of all the practices, processes, habits, values, structures, incentives, and naturally people that the organization has. It is the shared values, belief systems, attitudes, and the set of assumptions that people in a workplace share. Innovation culture therefore is an organizational culture that values and supports innovation so that people can actually make innovation happen around the organization.

Culture drives innovation in organizations where innovation is taken as a top priority and employees feel valued. According to a recent research, organizations that have a strong culture generally gel together in the face of adversity and actually perform better in a crisis than in normal times. In other words, there is a high degree to which teamwork and social collaboration are fostered.

This then begs the question: How do we create a culture of innovation in the workplace? According to Accept Mission, an online publication (2021), the following efforts can help to create an innovation workplace culture: Setting clear goals and values, making employees learn specific skills and techniques, assigning work to employees as per their interests, facilitating proper communication networks, building diverse and inclusive teams at the workplace, encouraging employees to think outside the box since ideas are the engines of progress, making timely constructive feedback, creating an interesting innovative space, building trust within the organization, and avoiding unnecessary bureaucracy, plus providing motivation to employees through awards and recognition.

Indeed, those who initiate change will have a better opportunity to manage the change which is inevitable. Without change there is no innovation, creativity, or incentives for improvement. Innovation is a vital factor for organizations that aim to achieve and sustain a competitive advantage (Baer, 2012) since the future growth of our businesses and the economy in general relies on competitiveness and innovation, skills and productivity. Therefore, creating and sustaining a workplace culture that fosters innovation is imperative to an organization’s success because a strong innovation culture is the engine that drives the organization performance.

By Patrick Ajuna,
Policy and Research Officer


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