Uganda’s labor export revenue hits Shs25 billion, see details

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Uganda’s Ministry of Gender Data recently revealed that Uganda made approximately Shs25 billion ($6.49 million) from exporting labor. The East African country was able to realize this revenue in the space of 2 years. During this time 120,459 workers left Uganda to find work outside its borders, and a popular destination amongst this group seems to be Saudi Arabia.

  • Uganda’s labor export industry earns $6.49 million in just 2 years.
  • Over 120,000 Ugandan workers sought employment abroad during this period.
  • Saudi Arabia emerges as the top importer of Ugandan labor, absorbing 89.1% of migrant workers.

A report by the Ugandan news publication, The Monitor showed that Uganda was able to make Shs24.5 billion from its labor export from January 2022 to December 2023, with most of the revenue stemming from, expression of interest fees, fines, accreditations, job order (local and foreign), and license fees.

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From local job orders, Uganda was able to make Shs324 million, while foreign job orders gave the government Shs24.1 billion in the period under review.

More than 60% of the Shs24.5 billion revenue generated came in 2022, as Uganda raked in Shs17 billion during the year and Shs7 billion in 2023. This discrepancy is a result of complications from the delay in the renewal of an agreement with Saudi Arabia.

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The data further revealed that 390 companies were licensed at Shs2 million, which eventually earned the country $780 million. Accreditation earned the government Shs21 million, expression of interest fees, Shs58.8 million, and fines brought in about Shs72 million.

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Saudi Arabia was Uganda’s number one importer of labor, taking in about 89.1% or 107,448 of Ugandan migrant workers.

Other countries that receive Ugandan labor include Qatar with 5.05% or 6,086, UAE with 4,457 Ugandan workers, Somalia with 1,108, Iraq with 1,081, Kuwait with 262, and Bahrain with 6. The most common jobs amongst these Ugandan migrant workers are house help, security guards, drivers, cleaners, waiters, and waitresses.

The Monitor’s report based on the data further revealed that of the 120,459 Ugandan laborers who left the country in search of jobs, 77.5% or 109,773 were women, while men constituted 22.5% or 10,686.

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In a country of approximately 45 million people, the exportation of labor remains one of Uganda’s primary sources of employment, as it aids the government in massively reducing its unemployment rate.


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