Project duration
October 2018-March 2023

Uganda has one of the fastest growing populations in the world with 78% of its people aged 30 years and below. At the same time, youth unemployment is one of the highest in Sub-Saharan Africa. The majority of Uganda’s youth lack marketable skills. Access to vocational training is limited coupled with limited involvement of the private sector in the development of curricula, skills delivery and certification.
The outbreak of COVID-19 and its restrictions to contain the pandemic have adversely hurt the economy. There is a significant fall in SME productivity and job opportunities.

Skill Up! program was set up to address these challenge
Skill Up! Kampala is a program of Welthungerhilfe in cooperation with the
Uganda Small Scales Industries Association (USSIA) and Kiyita Family Alliance
for Development (KIFAD), aiming at improving employability of youth through enterprise based skills training.
The Program is Funded by the Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and
Development (BMZ)

The Project Objective:
The youth in Kampala, Mukono and Wakiso successfully use improved non-formal education and training opportunities and support offered by USSIA and its members to overcome unemployment and poverty.


  • Develop capacity of training enterprises to provide high- quality, curriculum based vocational training beyond the duration of the Skill Up! Project.
  • Deliver market relevant and curriculum based vocational skills training through 60 USSIA members enterprises using enterprise based approach.
  • Deliver Life Skills and Entrepreneurship training for mindset, behavioral change and work readiness.
  • Support establishment of startups through provision of starter kits
  • Further support is through mentorship and consultancy services through USSIA and partners.
  • Curricula and standardization for non-formal vocational skills training.
  • Organization of youth in Village Savings and Loans Associations (VSLA).
  • Post-training support (mentoring, start-up kits, internships, business training).

Our Target Group

  • 1,500 Unemployed and Underemployed youth from socioeconomically  constrained backgrounds.
  • 60 non-formal vocational training small scale enterprises

Focus Areas

  1. Training enterprises qualified to competently conduct market oriented training courses and Internships for young people in Kampala, Mukono and Wakiso.
  2. Offer consultancy services and business startups advice tailored to the needs of young People and young entrepreneurs.
  3. Micro and small enterprises are strengthened in their role of providing training for young people through image and marketing work.
  4. Partner capacities strengthened.
  5. The population in Kampala, Mukono and Wakiso have increased knowledge about COVID-19 symptoms, transmission and prevention.


  • District Local Governments of Kampala, Mukono and Wakiso
  • Ministry of education and Sports (Directorate of Industrial Training)

SWITCH Africa Green is a 3-year initiative which started in 2015 to support 6 countries in Africa (Burkina Faso, Ghana, Kenya, Mauritius, South Africa and Uganda) to transition towards a private sector-led inclusive green economy, based on sustainable consumption and production (SCP) patterns. In Uganda, the project supported the formulation of sound policy and regulatory frameworks; incentives structures and tax; and market-based instruments in targeted sectors. It will also be ensured that micro and small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) were better equipped to apply SCP practices, as well as inform public and private consumers of the multiple benefits of sustainable, resource-efficient products.
Project Objectives
The project intends to;

  • Support policy makers to be better informed and equipped with relevant scientific information and appropriate tools and instruments such as policies, regulatory frameworks, incentives structures, tax and market – based instruments that promote private sector led inclusive green growth.
  • Support Private sector to identify opportunities for green business development and markets (domestic and export) for sustainably produced goods and services.
  • Facilitate knowledge development and dissemination, including lessons learned and good practices from the projects nationally and through regional and Africa-wide networks and programmes to create broader awareness, and increase understanding, buy-in and uptake of Green Economy and Sustainable Consumption and Production ideas among key stakeholders in the private sector, governments and the public.

Who financed it?
SWITCH Africa Green was funded by the European Union (EU) and jointly implemented by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).

Enabling Synergies between Organized Enterprising People (ES-OP) II is a 5 year programme that receives support from Belgium Director General Development (GDG) targeting an outreach of 85,000 entrepreneurs in Micro, Small and Medium Industries. The 2017 – 2021 programme is supporting small scale entrepreneurs especially poor people, women and young people have a sustainably improved livelihood incomes.

ES-OP II is being coordinated by Trias Uganda and implemented by Uganda Small Scale Industries Association (USSIA) in the districts of West Nile Region (Arua, Nebbi and Zombo) and Bunyoro Region ( Hoima and Masindi).

The objectives of ES-OP II Programme:

  1. USSIA provides decentralized services to its members, leading to sustainable growth-oriented enterprises that have better access to markets.
  2. USSIA provides more women friendly services through a responsive women desk, economically empowering women with formalized women owned businesses and more women in male dominated enterprises.
  3. More youth actively participating in decision making at all levels, accessing youth targeted services leading to increase youth membership and youth operated enterprises.
  4. USSIA is a financial sustainable organization with efficient and effective internal control systems, increased internally generated funds and a diversified funding portfolio.
  5. USSIA is recognized as the leading agency in private sector with strong capacity in Lobbying and Advocacy issues and being a strong actor in skills development in Uganda.

Under the four core capacities (Diversity, Financial Sustainability, Integrated Service to its members and Networking), the Programme seeks to achieve the following results:

  1. Empowered poor women and youth proactively participate in their Membership Based Organization or in democratic, open and mixed MBOs, acting towards a more inclusive society.
  2. USSIA has effectively improved their internal organization and organizational sustainability.
  3. USSIA and their strategic public and private partners facilitate integrated quality services to ensure better participation in markets, especially of poor people, women and young people.
  4. USSIA join in coordination, dialogue and collaboration with other actors towards a more inclusive society.

Project Background, Project Goal and Objectives

From March 2017 to June 2019, Uganda Small Scale Industries Association (USSIA) implemented the USAID/UKAID-funded project “Promoting Private Sector Participation in Local Governments” in the central region districts of Kiboga, Mityana and Mukono. The project envisioned two core objectives:

  1. To improve institutional and management capacities for at least 12 targeted private sector enterprises in the districts of Mukono, Kiboga, and Mityana for improved service delivery and operating environment by December 2019;
  2. To strengthen linkages and partnerships for at least 12 targeted private sector enterprises in the districts of Mukono, Kiboga, and Mityana for improved service delivery and operating environment by December 2019.

Under these objectives, the project included eighteen (18) milestones of which sixteen (16) were directly programmatic. Of these sixteen (16) milestones, seven (7) sought to support Objective 1 above while nine (9) supported Objective 2.

Each programmatic milestone had an activity (or series of related activities) that needed to be executed in order to realize it with deliverables.

The expected outcomes and related outputs of the project which were developed and approved prior to March 2017 were as follows:

In February 2019, the project design was modified with extended end date to incorporate five (5) identified add-on activities (bolded Outputs in updated table below) that sought to support expected outcome number two (2).

Promoting the Uptake of Beef Meat Processing Quality Systems and Consumption of Beef Value Added Products

The 2018 Global Gender Gap Index Report revealed Uganda was ranked 55th out of 149 countries under the ‘Economic Participation & Opportunity ’ sub-index; but lagged behind Rwanda (30th) and Kenya (37th) from a regional country performance analysis. Tanzania was ranked 77th under this sub-index.

A key insight on economic analysis of Uganda’s tourism sector is that $1 of expenditure by a foreign tourist generates, on average, $2.5 of GDP – the total impact includes the indirect value-added along the supply chain plus the induced effects of households spending the wages generated. This figure compares with $2.3 of GDP generated by $1 of traditional exports from Uganda.

Uganda’s long term development agenda is defined in the Uganda Vision 2040 aiming at transforming the country from being a predominantly peasant and low income to a competitive, upper middle income status with a per capita income averaging at USD9,500 by 2040. National Development Plan II (NDP2) gives investment priority in three key growth opportunities including
Agriculture; Tourism; Minerals, Oil and Gas. In agriculture, emphasis is placed on investing in 12 enterprises (Co) on, Coffee, Tea, Maize, Rice, Cassava, Beans, Fish, Beef, Milk, Citrus and Bananas), along the value chains. Under the tourism priority area, the Plan focuses on improvement, diversification and exploitation of tourism products.

Analysis of Uganda’s Meat Industry

According to UBOS (2018), livestock accounted for about 4.3% to National GDP. The total value for meat was USD4,303 million. More than 60% of the rural households in Uganda derive their livelihoods from livestock. The livestock population, in the year 2018, consisted of 12.1 million ca) le, 15.6 million goats, 4.4 million sheep, 4.5 million pigs and 48.3 million poultry (Annual Agriculture Survey 2018 UBOS). Annual production of meat in 2017 was estimated at 453,541MT; with beef (211,358MT), goat’s meat & mutton (39,990MT), pork (24,197MT) and Poultry (65,481MT) (MAAIF, 2017; FAOSTAT 2017). The demand was 530,134MT which le* a net deficit of 76,593MT. The per capita consumption for all meat is 12.1kg (FAO, 2010), with beef averaging 6.5Kg, pork 3.5kg, goat’s meat 3.9kg, mu) on 0.3kg and poultry 1.52kg. The demand for beef exceeds current levels of supply. This is attributed to a rapid population growth (at 3.3% per annum), increasing urbanization,  increased purchasing power and changes in consumption habits.

Food Quality Systems: A Cost-Benefit Analysis
The agro-food processing industry is strongly dependent on horizontal and vertical cooperation, a characteristic which exerts also influence on the organization of quality systems. The concept of the value chain, introduced by Porter (1985), recognizes that the individual activities within the sequence of activities in the overall production process determine costs and quality of the end product. In this scenario, quality system standards that support transactions in enterprises as well as between enterprises in the chain are instrumental for achieving efficiency gains. Also, quality has been seen as a factor for competitiveness (Cuevas, 2004). It is well known, that one of the problems in the delivery of ‘quality and safety guarantees’ is the information asymmetry between sellers and buyers. Sellers know the quality and safety attributes of their products much better than buyers do, and it is hardly possible for buyers to fully assess these attributes during the transactions. As a consequence, buyers may end up with lower quality food than expected. The fact that market participants may be confronted unknowingly with an asymmetric information scenario, increases the transaction costs; because of increases in costs for information search, negotiation costs, and monitoring and enforcement costs (Hobbs, 1996). This generates private incentives to decrease such costs (Holleran et al. 1999) through, for example, the adoption of quality assurance systems. Other cost and benefit aspects within the chain view include; traceability, transparency, product liability, product safety and the organization of controls, aspects that are embedded in almost all quality systems. A core issue in the organization of vertically-oriented food quality systems is indeed traceability.
In principle, an interaction between similar and between different quality management systems over the stages of the Agro-food supply chain would facilitate traceability. A well-developed traceability capability could reduce the product liability exposure of enterprises. Agro-food quality systems in the supply chain can provide a supportive basis for product liability cases and thus reduce product liability risks. The certification systems allow the reduction of controls at the end of the value chain and transfers costs of control down the
value chain. Retailers incentives to require quality system investments by suppliers and, in consequence, further upstream the value chain, set small and medium sized enterprises at a disadvantage, as compared to larger enterprises. This makes them in principle more dependent on public support to fulfill their obligations regarding improvements in Agro-food safety and quality.
Regarding benefi ts, Mazzocco (1996) and Bredahl and Zaibet (1995) showed that most of the enterprises that adopt quality systems have seen not only declines in the cost of transactions, but also have experienced improvements related to their production processes and final product. Among these benefits are increases in productivity, better management, improvements in consumer relations, and elimination of deficiencies in production processes, better adaptation of new personnel, and the conservation of current customers. Bredahl & Zaibet (1995) showed in their study that for enterprises the total
cost of implementing quality systems was less than the benefits acquired directly or indirectly. Consequently, they argued that the adoption of a quality system could be an important strategy for enterprise development.

Developing Uganda’s Beef Sector

The European Union (EU) identified the opportunity of the beef sector within its National Indicative Plan (NIP) for Uganda and agreed to fund – through the 11th European Development Fund (11th EDF) – a 5-year project, implemented by the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industries and Fisheries (MAAIF), to support the development of the beef sector such that it could realize its full potential. The project is called “Developing a Market Oriented and environmentally Sustainable Beef Meat Industry in Uganda” (MOBIP). The program is being implemented in the Central and South-Western part of
the Cattle Corridor, in two areas formerly defined by MAAIF as “Disease Control Zones” (DCZ 1 & 2).

Supporting MSSI to get Tax Right: (em)Power to Participate (P2P)

The Government of Uganda (GoU) is committed to narrowing the gap between current and potential revenue performance. Academic research has estimated the potential to be in the range of 20 – 26 percent against a revenue-to-GDP ratio of 12.9 percent in FY2018/19. This commitment builds on the government’s existing policy of seeking to increase tax revenues as a share of gross domestic product (GDP) by at least 0.5 percent per annum, requiring them to grow at a rate in excess of the rate of growth in GDP. The tax-to-GDP ratio in Uganda was lower than the average of the 30 African countries in Revenue Statistics in Africa 2020 (at 16.5 percent) by 3.6 percentage points. The highest share of tax revenues in 2018 was contributed by taxes on goods and services other than value added tax (VAT) (33 percent). Corporate and personal income tax were the lowest contributors at 6 percent and 25 percent respectively.

In GoUs effort to improve revenue collection and lift Uganda’s tax-to-GDP ratio to her desired range of between 16 – 18 percent, a diagnostic study identified, inter alia, the following obstacles to achieving that desired range: i) widespread informality that is accounting for almost half of all economic activity; ii) a weak fiscal-social contract that is affecting tax morale and compliance; and iii) a tax policy development process that is insufficient in the level of analysis and stakeholder consultations.

Uganda adopted a computerized self-assessment system (SAS) whose feature is the shift of responsibilities from the tax authorities to taxpayers to; register a business entity, obtain a tax identification number (TIN), assess business income to estimate tax payable, file returns and make necessary amendments, inter alia self-services. This applies to both the Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) and Uganda Registration Services Bureau (URSB) web portals. In order to effectively discharge these responsibilities, taxpayers are expected to be well-versed with both the digital platforms (digital skills) and the existing tax laws and provisions. This is especially crucial as they are answerable to the tax authorities in the case of a tax audit. Another prominent attribute of SAS is voluntary compliance, as the tax returns submitted by taxpayers are deemed to be their notice of assessment. In other words, penalty mechanisms will be applied if taxpayers do not submit a correct tax return within the stipulated period.

The P2P Activity is strategically pillared on service design and is adopting an MISS-centric approach, targeting both formal and informal members of USSIA and key tax policy architects. It seeks to contribute to DRM4Ds goal of increasing tax and non-tax revenue to create fiscal space for public spending and investment in services delivery.

The Activity’s overall objective is to contribute to widening the tax base among the MSSIs and improving tax compliance while ensuring improved tax administration and tax policy reforms through quality dialogue with government.

It is pillared on three (3) objectives that seek to

1) To strengthen institutional and management capacities of at least 300 informal MSSIs for increased registration;

2) To strengthen institutional and management capacities of at least 800 formal MSSIs for improved tax compliance and

3) ` These objectives shall be pursued over a twenty-four (24) month period through three (3) strategic approaches:

1) Capacity Building Support: this strategy seeks to contribute to increasing the economy’s tax-to-GDP ratio by increasing tax compliance through enhanced tax knowledge and proficiency of youth- and women-owned MSSIs. Singh (2003) contends that knowledge is one of the significant predictors of income tax compliance, influences taxpayers’ ability to understand laws and regulations and comply appropriately. According to Chen Loo & Keng Ho, (2005), an appropriate compliance can only be realized when taxpayer’s liability is correctly computed, after taking into account all factors that have a bearing on the tax liability. The taxpayer has to be competent to comprehend the income tax law and the administrative procedures, given the complexities, uncertainties and ambiguities of the tax law, rules and administrative procedures. Therefore, taxpayers who are tax illiterate or inadequately informed may either be under-paying or over-paying taxes.

On the other hand CSOs like USSIA need the right capacities for implementing successful advocacy strategies which will help raise the voice and quality of participation of its membership in the tax policy development processes both at the sub-national and national levels. Leading a large group of businesspersons from diverse economic backgrounds through a process of discovering, analyzing and coming to a consensus on solutions to the complicated tax policy and administration problems requires substantial leadership and organization.

2) Information and Assistance Services: USSIA will leverage on her existing governance structure to engage in both group and individual tax information and assistance services including but not limited to explaining and sharing developed digital self-help tutorial tools and online business registration support using assistive tools (laptops). Information sharing will be conducted jointly with URA to supplement the priority objective of encouraging voluntary compliance with tax obligation. ‘Information services’ are to be understood as those aimed at providing information on applicable criteria and responding to any inquiry raised by taxpayers about tax compliance issues, while ‘Assistance services’ involve all those services that both the URSB and URA  make available to taxpayers in order to facilitate their performance of formal or material duties. This will be synergized with activities under strategy 1 above.

3) Advocacy and Dialogue: Organizing advocacy efforts is important because there are situations where the benefits of a new policy or policy change will be important for society including the business community, but individuals do not have the interest or capacity to press for this change independently. On the other hand, to fulfill their functions, all governments require taxation revenue. However, the level of the tax burden and the design of tax policy, including how it is administered, directly influence business costs and returns on investment. Sound tax policy enables governments to achieve public policy objectives while also supporting a favorable investment environment.

The more the business community is involved in the reform process, the more likely the most important issues will be addressed and the best solutions will be found. Dialogue also improves the transparency of political processes and fosters support for democracy by increasing participation of businesses. It increases the accountability of government and makes them more responsive to democratic processes. The very process of regularly bringing people together from different segments of society can build trust and understanding and increase dynamism in the country.