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QATAR OFFERS UGANDA 40,000 JOBS IN 2017; BILATERAL COOPERATION IN AGRICULTURE, TRADE AND LABOR IN THE OFFING

Tuesday, 29th November 2016
Hon. Hajjat Janat Balunzi Mukwaya and Uganda's Ambassador to Saudi Arabia, H.E. Dr. Rashid Yahya Ssemuddu meet H.E Dr. Eisa Saad Aljafali Al-Naimi, the Minister of Administrative Development, Labor and Social Affairs of the State of Qatar.

The government of the State of Qatar has pledged 40,000 jobs in all sectors to Ugandans in 2017, in a development that would overwhelmingly raise the population of Ugandans working in Qatar from the current 3000.

H.E Dr. Eisa Saad Aljafali Al-Naimi, the Minister of Administrative Development, Labor and Social Affairs of the State of Qatar, made the offer to his Ugandan counterpart, Hon. Hajjat Janat Balunzi Mukwaya, the Minister of Gender, Labor and Social Development.

The two Ministers met in Qatar's capital Doha, in the presence of Uganda's Ambassador to Saudi Arabia, accredited to Qatar, H.E. Dr. Rashid Yahya Ssemuddu. The Ministers held preliminary discussions about the Uganda-Qatar bilateral labour framework and exchanged drafts of the proposed agreement for review before the signing ceremony expected in early 2017. The Agreement would be the third to be signed with a country in the Middle East, following similar pacts with Saudi Arabia in 2015 and Jordan two weeks ago.

President Yoweri Museveni is expected to visit Qatar during the first quarter of 2017 and would be hosted by the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani. During the visit, the two heads of state are also expected to ink agreements on avoidance of double taxation, investment protection and cooperation in agriculture, in addition to the bilateral on labor.

Said a visibly elated Hon. Mukwaya, I Am happy that we have accomplished this in a cordial environment with our friends of Qatar. I have invited His Excellency Eisa Saad Aljafali to visit Uganda. We are indeed grateful to the government of the state of Qatar for offering Ugandans jobs in decent areas, moreover in the absence of a bilateral agreement between our two countries.

The signing of the agreements is expected to pave way for Qatar trade and investment inflows to Uganda, in line with the pledge made by the Amir of Qatar to Ambassador Ssemuddu during the ceremony of presentation of credentials in 2014.

The State of Qatar presents a unique opportunity to Uganda to engage in improved diplomatic relations, trade and investment as well as job opportunities in an increasingly versatile business environment, said Ambassador Ssemuddu after the meeting.

During the ceremony of presentation of credentials, the Ambassador placed considerable emphasis on marketing Uganda as an investment destination to Qatari investors. In response, the Emir promised to send an investment team to visit Uganda to explore the big investment opportunities and showed his commitment that His government would invest in Uganda. The Emir kept his promise and the team, under the auspices of the Qatar Investment Authority, visited Uganda.

Qatar also fulfilled a promise to support Hon. Sam Kutesa for the candidature of President of the United Nations General Assembly.

The richest country in the world per capita ($102,000 PPP), Qatar is home to some 2 million people (with only 280,000 citizens and the rest foreigners) and occupies a paltry 11,571 square kilometers, equivalent to about 16% of the land mass of Buganda. With the world's largest natural gas reserves, the absolute monarchy is globally renowned for its global news group, Al Jazeera and for winning the bid to host the 2022 Football World Cup.
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