The event was honoured with high-level representation from the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development represented by Hon. Amongi Betty Ongom, the UN Resident Coordinator H.E. Susan Ngongi Namondo and the Representative of H.E. Karin Boven, Ambassador Government of the Netherlands, Mr. Joost Van Ettro, Head of Development Cooperation from the Embassy of the Netherlands in Kampala, Uganda.
The ILO is thrilled that Uganda has ratified both the ILO instruments on elimination of child labour. These include the minimum age convention 138, and the worst form of child labour convention 182.."Mr. Wellington Chibebe ILO CO-Dar es Salaam Director
The social finance model is an innovative solution for improving access to finance and improving livelihoods as an effective way to reduce poverty and address the root cause of child labour, forced labour and human trafficking, highlighted Ms Ngongi. On the same subject, the Permanent Secretary Ministry of Gender, Labour, and Social Development highlighted that Uganda as a pathfinder country and member of the alliance 8.7 is required to take immediate measures to accelerate action towards the elimination of child labour to bring about inclusive and sustainable development.
The ACCEL Africa project, financed by the Netherlands, is supporting the design of innovative financial (and non-financial) services aimed at supporting workers in lower tiers of the coffee and tea supply chains in Kikuube, Hoima, Buikwe, Mbale, Sironko, Bulambuli and Kabarole, Uganda. Through various financial services, the project has reached to 2000 women and men. The approach taken by the project includes:
- Sustainable investing – which is the engagement of and with investors on the identification and mitigation of human and labour rights violations through improved investment practices.
- Financial Inclusion – supporting vulnerable groups’ provision of banking services (incl. credit unions and microfinance services).
- Impact Insurance – addressing chocks in agricultural sectors through insurance and risk management solutions.
The social finance model in Uganda leverages the power of a digital platform to connect smallholder farmers from remote rural populations with formal service providers like EquitBank."Edgar Aguilar, ILO Social Finance Officer
Eliminating child labour is an important topic for the Netherlands, having a long history of working on this issue “Mr. Joost Van Ettro, Head of Development Cooperation from the Embassy of the Netherlands.."Mr. Joost Van Ettro, Head of Development Cooperation from the Embassy of the Netherlands.
During the event, presentations on the project implementation's results showcased 9843 beneficiaries (incl. adults and children) through the project’s livelihoods support activities, 15 cooperative and farmers associations supported, and a total of 1015 beneficiaries enrolled in the e-learning programme.
The Minister of Gender, Labour and Social Development called for financial institutions, International Development Banks, Multinationals and Civil Society to come together to tackle the growing Child Labour Challenge in Uganda and launched the Social Finance model through the signature of a commitment board.After the launch, the ILO under the leadership of Federation of Uganda Employers (FUE), will continue to explore new partnerships with other coffee and tea supply chain actors, to replicate the model in other communities and hence reach scale.