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Uganda: Parliament Passes National Local Content Bill

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KAMPALA, PARLIAMENT — The Local Content Bill, which was tabled before the Parliamentary Finance Committee in 2019 by Kassanda North MP Patrick Nsamba, seeking to impose local content obligations on persons using public money or natural resources or carrying out activities requiring a license, to prioritize Ugandans in Public Procurement, ensure skills and technology transfer and provide for development of local content plans, was finally been passed Friday 22 May 2020.

Uganda’s speaker of parliament Hon. Rebecca Alitwala Kadaga confirmed the development through her ‘Facebook page’ post when she posted thus; “Parliament has passed the National Local Content Bill, 2019 which prioritizes Ugandan citizens and companies in Procurement. As a way of creating employment, protecting our economy and people, a foreign investor will be required to hire 100% Ugandans for its unskilled labour force and 60% Ugandans for its skilled labour force,” she said.

Speaker also said thus; “The Covid-19 pandemic has shown that we have the capacity to grow import substitution by local innovations and adaptations, I urge our entrepreneurs to up their game and ensure we produce goods and services of the highest quality”.

The bill also seeks to promote Ugandan goods, services and industrialists. The proposed legislation also seeks to provide for the establishment of a national local content committee and to maximize value-addition and job creation using local expertise, goods and services among others.

The bill also proposes strong measures against employing foreigners especially in public works like construction, alteration, installations, or repair work done under contract and paid out of public funds.

According to the proposal, a foreigner can only be employed where a Ugandan doesn’t meet the requirements for the job following clearance from a Government department. The bill also proposes a succession plan for every position not held by a Ugandan.

The bill also proposes that for every position held by a foreigner, it shall be deputized by a Ugandan. And that 80 per cent of the employees in companies using public money and resources must be Ugandans and that the salary difference between non-Ugandans and Ugandans shouldn’t exceed 10 percent.

Also, the bill restricts the grant or renewal and issuance of work permits to foreigners unless a Government department confirms that no Ugandan is suitable for the position for which the foreigner seeks to work in. The bill also proposes 40% sub-contracting for Ugandans.

Persons and companies who fail to meet the requirements will be blacklisted for five years. The bill also lists over 124 Goods and services that can only exclusively be supplied by Ugandans under public procurement including health related services, tour and travel, recreational and cultural services, financial services like money lending and communication services among others.

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