Ugandan graduates to get jobs as maids in Saudi Arabia

Thursday July 9 2015

By STEPHEN WANDERA

KAMPALA- Uganda has entered a bilateral arrangement with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to export graduates to Middle East countries to work as maids.

According to government, the recruitment agreement was entered with a view to dealing with the rampant unemployment question.

“It is true Uganda government has signed a memorandum of understanding with Saudi Arabia to enable Ugandan domestic workers to seek employment in Saudi Arabia. It is not only housemaids but other domestic workers such as like private drivers, shop keepers and security guards,” said

Mr Pius Bigirimana,the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development Permanent Secretary.

Speaking to Daily Monitor in an exclusive phone interview from Saudi Arabia, he said, the initiative is to save Ugandans, who have been cheated in the past while job hunting abroad.

All the workers will have health insurance and minimum wage of $200 (about Shs710,000), Mr Bigirimana noted, adding: “This is a great opportunity for our unemployed youth to grab. They will be able to repatriate their income back home for development.”

Asked how many Ugandans Saudi Arabia can employ, Mr Bigirimana said: “According to the agreement, it is open and we can export over a million Ugandans.”

Saudi Gazzate,, an online publication in Saudi Arabia, on Tuesday published the story indicating that Saudi Arabia was to import Uganda university graduate housemaids at a monthly salary of between SR800-SR1, 000 (about Shs757,000 and Shs947,000).

“A technical meeting between the Saudi and Ugandan sides was held on Sunday to lay the groundwork for a bilateral agreement.

Labour ministry is planning to find new suppliers of househelps in Africa, especially now that some Southeast Asian countries have closed down their traditional markets in the face of Saudi Arabia even after signing agreements to the effect,” Saudi Gazzate reported.

“The recruitment agreement with Uganda will be an added value to the kingdom because the highly-educated Ugandan housemaids may be used to teach English or work as nannies besides their house chores,” it added.

Uganda’s ambassador to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Mr Rashid Semuddu, said during their negotiations with the Saudi side, they would highlight the educational capabilities of house helps imported from Uganda.

“The level of education in Uganda is very high. Therefore, when they come here, the Ugandan housemaids will be of an outstanding added value to the Saudi kingdom because they can also work as English-language teachers or nannies,” he said, adding that the deal will be signed soon.

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