Lamara Fortunate Lusaka, a young girl of Senior three from Kalongo Town Council, Agago District won a United Nations Uganda award to become an Ambassador for a day.
United Nations Uganda gave a task for students to write an essay explaining what they would do to improve on the success of the women enterprises in Uganda if they were to be an ambassador for one day.
Lamara wrote an essay titled “If you were an ambassador what would you do to support a more Equitable business environment for young women in Uganda”? She had to come out with the statistics of the fourth edition of the MasterCard index of women entrepreneurs which ranked Uganda at 38.2 percent of female owned businesses in the country.
She presented five ideas to address this issue and you can watch her interview here. The transcript of the conversation is also below.
1. Using ICT
I was really emphasizing on the use of ICT because this is what would really help our country to evolve and there is one thing the international Women’s Day celebration in Uganda was galvanized under the team digital innovation of gender equality to celebrate the years that the women have been developing the conversation the politically culturally and in many other ways which it will be one way we Embrace e-commerce it will make women’s businesses go beyond the immediate vicinity and it will reach out to a wider customer base with differing preferences
I talk of financial assistance which is given to women of this country Studies have shown that women entrepreneurs are always evaluated differently when it comes to access to funds from credit institutions of which these women also have other responsibilities by the way we are aware of the fact that women actually carry very many responsibilities you talk of child care you talk over the family responsibilities but they manage to all these activities in their hands and to do these activities every day and so there is one thing that hinders them from accessing funds from credit institutions because they don’t have collaterals like take for example in our culture it is not so good for a woman to tell to herself that she owns a house but that house belongs to the family it is hard for a woman to say that this land belongs to me which is a collateral for about law so we really emphasize that if the women of this country can be given that Liberty to access funds from credit institutions without considering the collaterals but putting in mind that when you help a woman you contribute to 70 percent of the country’s in formal sector and you are 50 percent of the total population of the country.
We should take these women to vocational schools. We are unaware that during the covid lockdown very many girls got pregnant you know teenage pregnancy it wasn’t so good to see that was so bad enough and so our parents stand and it is true they tend to ignore such a child who is already pregnant a dropout and that child will stay at home not considering the fact that the economy is also going backward we are not considering the future generation but when we give them something uh to live on like Technical Training I like technical trainings like the industrial Hub that has been brought we take these people from underserved communities these Vocational School said that when they grow up tomorrow at least not everything they’ll be asking for it and this may be they ask for things like uh you talk of rams that is okay but when it comes to personal needs they’re always available to them and also we should sponsor these guys it is not all about maybe giving vocational schools to our communities all in all these people don’t have money sincerely we have to sponsor them we have to make sure the remaining school we have to make sure they stay in school that everything that comes along we provide for them.
Award successful women entrepreneurs
We should always award successful business I mean women entrepreneurs in the country like I’ll put this example, most is successful I can say or the richest female entrepreneur in the country she has got many awards and you know this has motivated her to build the largest Sugar Factory in East Africa is employing 6000 women to work in the factory. But what does that mean if we could have 10 people as successful as amen imagine where the women of this country will be today where the economy is going we have to make sure that they stand on their grounds to support one another the because we are strongest one we clear each other and I like saying this word where there is a woman there is a magic and behind every strong independent woman lies a broken little girl who into realize and know how to get backups and learn how to be independent.
Her concluding remarks
These were the things I was saying as being an ambassador for a day and I know that they were considered and we wait for the economic transformation of our country that involves each and everyone.
The Kalongo Times is a news publication which celebrates progress and development in Kalongo town and the wider Deaconry (formally Kalongo Mission). The Deaconry encompasses present-day Agago, part of Pader, part of Kitgum and part of Abim.