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Mauritius to employ 30,000 Ugandans

David Mugabe

Kampala — Mauritius wants to recruit about 30,000 Ugandan graduates of information technology as it positions itself as an IT hub.

The Mauritius government recently contacted the faculty of computing at Makerere University over the deal. The faculty graduates about 900 IT students every year ago, the highest in the region.

Michael Niyitegeka, an official of the faculty, said Mauritius first contacted the faculty about two years, but the programme stalled over the global economic slowdown.

However, Mauritius recently revived interest in recruiting Ugandan IT graduates.

“We are waiting for clarification from Mauritius on the specific types of skills,” said Niyitegeka.

Mauritius is reportedly compiling more data from local technology firms on the specific IT skills required.

Niyitegeka said initially the programme was supposed to be handled by Makerere, but the university is now co-opting the Government so that the state can own the process and manage the recruitment process. Makerere is seeking to involve relevant government authorities like the National Information Technology Authority that have promised to follow up on the offer.

Industry sources expect the process to start early next year. Experts advise that the country’s Ministry of Labour has to cross-check the work terms and conditions to ensure that Ugandans are not exploited.

“They (Mauritius) have the infrastructure and the facilities but lack the human resource. Uganda has the advantage of numbers compared to any country in the region,” said Niyitegeka from the corporate affairs department.

The faculty has emerged as a centre of excellence in the region, with a global appeal. Niyitegeka said the skills needed are largely in database management systems, application development and the applicants must know English and French.

Uganda now has to move first to grab the opportunity in the globally lucrative sector of business process outsourcing, he added.

This involves call centres, data entry, software development, e-learning and transaction processing.

The salary is expected to be about $500 depending on skills, experience and competence. In Uganda, graduate trainees are paid about $100 monthly.

Source: (Uganda)

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