Government through the Ministry of Gender, Labor and Social Development has developed a digital system to host all processes involved in labor exportation.
The system dubbed the External Employment Management Information System (EEMIS), expected to be in force by March 1 is aimed at curbing instances of human trafficking, and mistreatment of Ugandan workers by their bosses abroad as the system will be used to track movement.
While launching the system at a press conference in Kampala, the Ministry’s Permanent Secretary, Mr Pius Bigirimana said the EEMIS has been designed to manage the entire application workflow ranging from submission of an application to go work abroad to approval.
“The current system largely involves the use of papers that are transited through the approval process. However, with the new Information System we shall be able to do everything online including licensing of recruitment companies and handling applications for persons wishing to go and work abroad,” Mr Bigirimana said.
He said the system will manage secure registration of users; application submission for license and job orders; managing the multi-agency vetting, inspection and approval workflows, training, monitoring, billing, user reports and auditing logging features.
The development is ongoing in stages and so far the Application Management Module has been completed. This handles the initial expression of interest application, full license applications as well as processing of individual’s applications.
“The benefits are enormous because we shall be able to electronically track every individual’s working contract, power of attorney letters, signed agreements, letter of demand and recommendation letter from the Uganda Association for Employment Recruitment Agencies (UAERA),” Mr Bigirimana added.
The same portal will detail a position the person is supposed to serve in, the responsible recruitment agency, category of service, salary payable, location of work station, all critical dates as well as extra benefits including medical insurance, food and accommodation, transportation, and life/accident insurance.
“The portal has provided for a possibility for applicants to monitor online the level at which their applications are and the status on whether it has been approved, rejected or pending” Mr Bigirimana said.
He revealed that the Ministry has already signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the NITA-U to securely host the External Employment Management Information System. Another will be signed with the National Identification and Registration Authority (NIRA) to match personal details of applicants.
The Ministry will also sign a Memorandum of Understanding with the Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) to track payments that will be made in the processes. Currently payments are made at the bank and hardcopies of receipts are transited through the process which slows down the turnaround time.
The Ministry of optimistic that the entire system development will be completed by the end of February.
He cited that the Ministry has improved its processing time and brought down the application vetting period from 21 to 14 days.
In October last year, two members (David Abala and Mwine Mpaka) of the Parliamentary Committee on Gender, Labour and Social Development visited Uganda’s embassy in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (UAE), where they discovered shocking revelations regarding deaths of about 50 Ugandans.
Among other revelations, the legislators stated that between January and August 2017, at least 48 Ugandan workers in the Middle East were reported dead with most of them committing suicide.
The MPs said road accidents claimed two lives; one person was murdered; and four died of heart attacks; while the remaining 41 Ugandans committed suicide. They also reported that most of the workers lacked travel documents as they had been confiscated by recruitment firms, making it hard to identify themselves.