The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) in partnership with the Department of Refugees at the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) in Uganda is leading the implementation of the “Promoting Refugee and Migrant Entrepreneurship in East Africa, the Andean Region and the Middle East” project since late 2018. In August - November 2020, UNCTAD undertook a field study in Uganda to assess the inclusiveness of the local entrepreneurial ecosystem for migrants and refugees within the context of the four thematic areas of the Policy Guide on Migrant and Refugee Entrepreneurship and the Entrepreneurship Policy Framework (EPF). Findings of the Needs Assessment Report (NAR) indicated several challenges impeding entrepreneurship development particularly among refugees and migrants.
Following this study, a National Policy Workshop was organised on 10-11 February 2021 introducing the NAR and eliciting suggestions from 33 multisector stakeholders on response strategies for challenges and opportunities. The primary objective of the workshop was to gather reflections and latest updates in the context of COVID-19 pandemic on key issues with a view to drafting a National Action Plan and strengthening the capacity of stakeholders to design and implement entrepreneurship policies and initiatives that would foster the socio-economic integration of refugees and migrants into the local economies. The national workshop also intended to deepen understanding of the thematic pillars of the EPF with emphasis on four thematic pillars: (i) enhancing entrepreneurship education and skills development; (ii) improving access to finance, (iii) facilitating technology exchange and innovation and (iv) raising Awareness and networking.
The conclusion drawn from the first National Policy Workshop was that entrepreneurship among refugees and migrants in Uganda was inundated with various challenges:
- Ineffective coordination arrangements among ecosystem stakeholders across sectors
- Fragmented entrepreneurship training and skills development
- Capacity limitations of Local Government institutions
- Lack of incubators and accelerators targeting vulnerable groups
- Limited access to finance for vulnerable entrepreneurs
Owing to the above challenges, entrepreneurial activities in refugee hosting districts have not been satisfactory as enterprise creation and job creation has been dismal. During the workshop, UNCTAD and OPM worked with participants to elicit suggestions for the development of a National Action Plan for Inclusive Entrepreneurship Ecosystem in Uganda that could guide and support ongoing interventions for strengthening entrepreneurship among migrants and refugees. Preparation of the National Action Plan was based on key issues arising from workshop deliberations, lessons learnt and recommendations from the Needs Assessment Report.
The objective of the second National Policy Workshop is to finalize the National Action Plan and secure agreement on how to execute the various tasks stipulated therein, to set targets for key result areas, and develop an implementation strategy with key milestones and timelines. The main goal of the National Action Plan is ‘to strengthen entrepreneurship in refugee hosting districts through improved inclusiveness of the entrepreneurship ecosystem in Uganda’. A three-day workshop is being organized to validate the various components of the National Action Plan.
The proposed workshop will finalize the National Action Plan and facilitate increased ownership of the plan through consensus building, improved inter-agency communication, and shared understanding of specified options for supporting migrants, refugees, and host communities in enterprise development.
It is also envisaged that the proposed second National Policy Workshop will lead to strengthened, inclusive, and accountable entrepreneurship ecosystem, and identification of strategies for lowering barriers to entrepreneurship development in refugee hosting districts.
Organization and Participation
The proposed workshop is to draw the participation of relevant Government Ministries, Departments and Agencies at national and local levels, UN entities, development partners, FINTECHs, Village Savings and Loans Associations, financial institutions, incubators, refugee representatives, Directorate of Industrial Training (DIT), Business Technical Vocational Education and Training (BTVET), and representatives of host communities. The workshop will be conducted under a hybrid system entailing physical presence and virtual connection. Participants in Uganda will converge at the Protea Hotel, while UNCTAD Staff in Geneva will participate virtually. The workshop will be conducted in English.
There is some issue in accessing document path, Please contact to Site Admin
Division on Investment and Enterprise