Dear Esteemed Member,

‘The FUE-CEO Breakfast Meeting has over the years provided a platform for over 700 business leaders to discuss innovation ideas, boost networking opportunities and share significant views to influence policy formulation in a bid to achieve decent work’. Douglas Opio, FUE Executive Director.

In this Issue



The FUE-CEO Breakfast Meeting is hosted annually to convene a wide network of business leaders to discuss employment trends and adopt new work modalities. The 2nd FUE-CEO Breakfast Meeting was organised on Friday 18th November 2022 at the Kampala Serena Hotel from 7:30am (EAT). The event was graced by esteemed CEOs from various sectors of the economy.

Business Leaders were advised to embrace online recruitment portals such as LinkedIn which is used by 77% of recruiters to ease the hiring process, invest in skilling and re-skilling the workforce, increase wages and ensure staff adopt digital skills to build strong entities. The need for CEOs to establish professional networks within their different sectors was emphasised for partnership and collaboration purposes to advance business growth.

The FUE Former Chairperson, Mr. Nicholas J. Okwir in his speech appreciated FUE for the continuous guidance and support to Employers through the services offered in the membership value proposition. He highlighted knowledge sharing, occupational safety and health as key employment trends needed to enhance employers’ competitiveness globally.

The CEO Breakfast Meeting featured two keynote presentations on ‘Cyber Security’ and ‘The Impact of Malaria at the Workplace’ by our Guest Speakers Ms. Geraldine Mugumya, the Risk Analyst, National Information Technology Authority, Uganda (NITA-U) and Mr. Peter Mbabazi, the Finance and Multi-Stakeholder Partnerships Coordinator, Ministry of Health.

These seasoned business professionals shared experiences on the impacts of cyber-attacks and poor workplace health including disruption of services, loss of confidential data, unauthorized access to information, absence from work, low levels of productivity and high medical costs that are detrimental to work operations. Top Management teams and Business Leaders were tasked to outsource tech-savvy experts, update operating systems, invest in back up devices for organizational information, develop multi-sectoral health initiatives, participate in policy formulation engagements and conduct sensitization trainings to promote cyber security, occupational safety and health.

FUE remains committed to supporting start-ups, small, medium-sized and large organisations to thrive. We believe these CEO meetings are significant to learn, network and share experiences for economic growth.


The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the world of work included government restrictions, changing consumer behavior, high operation costs, altering human resource strategies and adopting new work modalities. Against this background, FUE in partnership with the International Labour Organisation (ILO) commissioned a study to explore the pandemic-era experiences of Ugandan enterprises in priority areas of workplace relations, skills development, knowledge sharing, productivity and human resources. The findings of this research birthed, ‘The Next Normal: Changing Workplace in Uganda Report’ which was officially unveiled on Friday 18th November 2022 at the 2nd FUE-CEO Breakfast Meeting.

Our Executive Director, Douglas Opio highlighted that the report will serve as an integral part and benchmark for Employers to align business operations and maximize productivity. He revealed the research findings exposed that some enterprises retained in-person working modalities with 23% citing the lack of systems for coordinating remote work and 21% alluding to risks of loss of productivity due to adapting remote work during the pandemic. Further to his submissions regarding the survey results, he disclosed that 93% of Employers committed to focusing on outputs as a key measure of productivity in future endeavors.

Mr. Gary Rynhart, the ILO Senior Employers Specialist reiterated that The Next Normal: Changing Workplace in Uganda Report presents opportunities to improve gender stereotypes, remote work, soft skills, occupational health and safety. He advised Employers to embrace flexi-work, digitalisation and skills development to minimize high operation costs and enhance employee retention.

We believe this report will form an integral part of the evidence base for future policy positions and dialogue of FUE. There’s need for tripartite partners to work together to implement new employment trends for business growth.

Click the link below to view The Next Normal: Changing Workplace In Uganda Report.

‘The future of work has changed as we know it and it’s vital for Employers to adjust to these new work modalities to continue business operations.’ Mr. Gary Rynhart, ILO Senior Employers’ Specialist.

Watch the video below as Mr. Gary shares key findings and projections in the world of work outlined in the Next Normal: Changing Workplace in Uganda Report;


According to statistics, Uganda hosts over 1.5 million refugees, the highest number recorded in Africa. The FUE Investor Round Table Discussion was convened in Kampala on Friday 11th November 2022 at Hotel Africana. The main purpose of this meeting was to engage Employers and potential investors on key investment opportunities in refugee hosting communities of Arua, Terego, Isingiro and Madi-Okollo. Participants included representatives from the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social

Development (MGLSD), Office of the Prime Minister (OPM), Human Resource Practitioners, and Tertiary Institutions among others.

Employers were encouraged to explore the numerous investment opportunities in these refugee-hosting communities rich in various resources.

The potential investors were enlightened on aspects of financial literacy, risk management and resource mobilization. Furthermore, the need for tripartite partners to work together to counter challenges, offer 

practical solutions and gain benefits from these business ventures was emphasised.

Mr. Solomon Opio, the Lead Research Consultant shared a detailed presentation on the key investment

sectors namely education, health, tourism, technology and hospitality. He assured Employers that refugee populations demonstrate a potential market opportunity and ready labour force that are fundamental tenets for sustainable development.

Additionally, we conducted a panel discussion centered on the support offered to Employers with experienced business professionals, Mr. Bernard Amuriat, MGLSD, Mr. Godfrey Kalungi, an FUE Governing Council Member and a representative from the OPM. They discussed various challenges to investing in refugee communities including language barrier, cultural differences, limited education and lack of proper documentation. Skills Development, Awareness Raising and Mind-Set Change were proposed as solutions to mitigate these challenges.

Therefore, the increasing number of refugees provide an opportunity to boost job creation, enhance skills development and improve livelihoods. It’s expedient for the ILO and tripartite partners to make concerted efforts to exploit the various investment opportunities in these refugee hosting communities to increase Uganda’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).


The Uganda National Survey Report 2019/2020 indicates that there are more females accounting for 53% of the working age population in comparison to men that account for 51% however, women are more prone to vulnerable employment situations as compared to their male counterparts. The Federation of Uganda Employers (FUE) in partnership with Reproductive Health Uganda (RHU) convened a workshop on Tuesday 29th November 2022 at Golf Course Hotel themed, ‘Ending Inequalities at Work’. The participants included representatives from the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development (MGLSD), National Union of Disabled Persons of Uganda (NUDIPU) and Employers from the construction, manufacturing and agricultural sectors.

The workshop deliberations focused on ‘Decent Work: Harnessing the Full Potential of Female Employees’ implemented under, ‘The Promise II Sexual, Reproductive Health and Inclusion in Employment Project’ (2022-2025). The project is being funded by the Danish Family Planning Association (DFPA) to address vulnerable and marginalized groups of workers especially women and Persons with Disabilities (PwDs).

Employers were cautioned to ensure diversity during recruitment, guarantee equal pay for similar jobs, conduct awareness sessions on reproductive health to enhance Occupational Safety and Health. The challenges to sexual reproductive and disability inclusion at the workplace highlighted included absence of policies, limited supply of contraception, stigma from colleagues and discrimination of PwDs. Participants were additionally implored to develop policies on sexual and reproductive health, sensitise communities on Gender Based Violence (GBV) and promote disability inclusion as strategies to address these challenges.

Furthermore, the various stakeholders from the different sectors of the economy signed a pledge board and made a commitment to ‘Create Decent Workplaces Free From Violence and Harassment’.

As we work towards achieving Sustainable Development Goal (SDG 8) which aims to promote economic growth and decent work by 2030, we believe a conducive work environment for the working-age population is significant to improve the quality of the labour market.


According to research conducted by Mckinsey, the most gender diverse companies are 21% more likely to experience above average profitability as well as high levels of productivity. Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) centralises a variety of skill-sets and promotes employee retention for business growth.

We were delighted to host the FUE-CEO Leadership Webinar on Wednesday 9th November 2022 from 10:00am (EAT). Our Guest Speaker was Ms. Sarah Kitakule, the Director, Sustainable Business for Uganda Platform Secretariat sharing on the theme, ‘Women in Leadership and The Significance of Gender Diversity’.

In the presentation, participants were enlightened on the 

challenges women in leadership face for instance gender stereotypes, limited networking opportunities, discrimination, sexual harassment and absence of female mentors. The recommendations to eliminate these gender-based challenges included equal career opportunities, developing women support groups, division of labour at family level and conducting leadership training sessions to equip girls and women for greater responsibilities.

Additionally, the several benefits of gender diversity were outlined such as better representation of customers, enhancing staff retention and increased financial performance to enhance organisational development.

Gender Diversity is a significant asset to the workplace, community and nation at large. It’s vital to ensure fair representation of women within corporations, politics, professions and religious organisations for socio-economic development.

Look out for our subsequent enriching leadership webinars!



Employers’ organisations like any other organisation exist for specific purpose(s). The Federation of Uganda Employers (FUE) exists to serve employers’ interests to improve efficiency and effectiveness of their business operations. In executing its mandate as the voice of employers in Uganda on social, economic, legal and policy issues, FUE engages in various lobbying and advocacy activities which are aimed at creating a conductive business environment for enterprise growth and employment creation.

According to the International Labour Organisation (ILO), advocacy is the art of persuasion and influence underpinned by the science of robust, evidence-based policy positions and the key to effective advocacy is knowing what you stand for, what you want to achieve, who you will need to convince, and how you will go about it.

Already, FUE has a number of avenues to engage the government and other social partners in its lobbying and advocacy endevours. One such avenue is the Social Dialogue under The National Tripartite Charter on Labour Relations in Uganda (2013) consisting of the Government of Uganda represented by the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development (MGLSD), Employers represented by FUE and Workers represented by the National Organisation of Trade Unions (NOTU) and Central Organisation of Free Trade Union (COFTU). These stakeholders exist to foster discussion, consultation and understanding of all kinds of constructive engagements based on ILO standards.

One of the most fundamental aspects within our lobbying effort is to ensure that the government laws and regulations which apply to business do not stifle business growth and job creation. According to the World Bank, the health of the private sector (employers) is very crucial to maintaining economic growth and development as it provides 90% of jobs in developing countries.

Similarly, recent studies have revealed that the private sector generates 90% of jobs, funds 60% of all investments and provides more than 80% of government revenues in developing countries, Uganda inclusive. Indeed, successful businesses drive growth, create jobs and pay taxes that finance services and investment.

In this regard, the government of Uganda has for long recognized the private sector (employers) as the engine of growth and understands the need to provide a business friendly environment in order to foster national economic success and prosperity. Indeed, the country’s economic development policy envisages an inclusive private sector-led and export oriented economy.

One of the key strategies and policy reforms adopted by the Government of Uganda to achieve its Vision 2040 in general and the Third National Development Plan (NDP III) for 2021/2022 – 2025/2026 in particular is to pursue policies for private sector development so that the private sector is able to drive growth and create jobs.

Provision of good policies, strong institutions and efficient public goods and services to ensure the private sector can thrive are some of the supportive role by the government to employers. However, some of the good policies that promote business growth are never an accident. They happen through lobbying, strategic advocacy and effective influencing of the policy and decision makers. The Federation of Uganda Employers has exactly been doing that.

FUE’s lobbying and advocacy strategies hinge partly on its Business Agenda with well documented focus areas which are reviewed periodically. Our Business Agenda for 2019 – 2021 focused on five key issues; skills development, reforming the labour laws, streamlining social security, addressing the tax challenge and on improving access to finance by Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs). However, this Business Agenda is due for review and update to accommodate the emerging socio-economic issues that affect business performance in the country.

The process of reviewing this Business Agenda requires the involvement of employers across all sectors of the economy to identify issues and in setting of priorities for documentation in the new Business Agenda for policy consideration in the period 2023 – 2026 in line with the objectives of NDP III (2021/22-2025/26) to inform the government on what it should focus on so as to strengthen the private sector (employers) to drive growth and create jobs meaningfully.

In addition, the negative impact of COVID-19 pandemic created new challenges for almost all businesses in the country. According to a study conducted by the Economic Policy Research Centre (EPRC) and the International Growth Centre (IGC), only 10% of micro, small and medium enterprises in Uganda remained open during the lockdown.

Therefore, as we strive to enhance employers’ competitiveness and improve the ease of doing business in Uganda through our policy advocacy and lobbying efforts, we need the support of our members across all sectors of the economy to embrace the process by participating in the development of a new FUE Business Agenda when it is rolled out so that we are able to accomplish the task on time. Research Methods include opinion survey questionnaire, face to face interviews and focus group discussion will be used.

As Hubert Humphrey, a former US Senator rightly puts it “The right to be heard does not automatically include the right to be taken seriously”. In this regard, the seriousness in advocacy requires one to make a compelling case through an evidence-based and a well-presented members’ position and/or business agenda so as to influence the policy and decision-makers.

By Patrick Ajuna, Policy and Research Officer