Kampala, Uganda – July 24, 2020 – On Thursday, 23rd July 2020, the Mastercard Foundation announced its Young Africa Works strategy in Uganda, which has set a goal to enable more than 3 million young people in the country to access dignified and fulfilling work opportunities by 2030. Under Young Africa Works, the Foundation has committed $200 million to ensure young women, men, and refugees in Uganda have access to economic opportunities.

Presiding over the virtual launch of the strategy, His Excellency President Yoweri Museveni noted Young Africa Works’ alignment to the government’s national development plan.

“I commend Mastercard Foundation for your efforts towards youth empowerment and transformation in Africa over the last decade. I am glad to note that your focus over the next decade is on uplifting young people by expanding employment opportunities. The Young Africa Works strategy is in line with the work that our government is doing to achieve the goal of a healthy, educated, and prosperous population” said His Excellency President Yoweri Museveni during his keynote address, which was live-streamed from the State House.

Young Africa Works in Uganda focuses on three economic sectors, including agriculture, tourism and hospitality, and construction/housing.  The Mastercard Foundation is working with a range of partners to realize its goals under Young Africa Works. Partners already working with the Mastercard Foundation include: the Private Sector Foundation Uganda, The Innovation Village, Gudie Leisure Farm, GOAL Uganda, the National Social Security Fund, and Equity Bank Uganda.

Speaking at the launch, Mastercard Foundation President and CEO Reeta Roy noted that the implementation of Young Africa Works is already underway and discussed the importance of collaboration among all stakeholders involved in Young Africa Works.

“We have formed partnerships with a number of organizations and together, if we are successful, they already represent 30 percent of the goal of having 30 million people in dignified and fulfilling work,” she said. “What’s special is how our partners have come together to intentionally collaborate and leverage each other’s strengths,” she added.

During the launch, speakers recognized the impact of COVID-19 on various economic sectors in Uganda. In April, Mastercard Foundation announced the Mastercard Foundation COVID-19 Recovery and Resilience Program in Uganda to mitigate the adverse effects of the pandemic on businesses, the education sector, and on communities, while strengthening the country’s public health system and response. To date, the Foundation has committed approximately  $23.7 million to its COVID-19 response in Uganda.

The Mastercard Foundation has been working in Uganda since 2008 and has invested a total of more than $282 million in expanding access to finance, education, and/or skills training to more than two million people, including farmers, students, teachers, and out-of-school youth across the country.

“In many ways, the Foundation’s relationship with Uganda is special. Uganda was the Foundation’s first partner country in Africa,” said Samuel Adela Yalew, Country Head at the Mastercard Foundation. He also noted that Young Africa Works would be building on a decade of work and achievements.

The Honourable Minister for Education and Sports Janet Museveni also reflected on the long-standing partnership of the Mastercard Foundation in the area of education.

“I believe we can now say that the Mastercard Foundation is a faithful friend of Uganda. In the last decade alone, they have provided quality education opportunities to over 6,000 young people in the country,” she commented.

Uganda is home to the second largest population of young people in the world with 82 percent of the population under the age of 35. Young Africa Works has already begun positively impacting Uganda’s young people.

“It has helped me to get some money to buy food and to clothe myself” said Akiding Elizabeth Oumo, a program participant who benefitted from skills training conducted under Young Africa Works.

On May 20, this year, Parliament passed the Local Content Bill 2019. The bill, which is currently awaiting formal assent by President Museveni is expected to support all efforts towards entrenching import substitution. Mr Gideon Badagawa, the executive director of Private Sector Foundation Uganda (PSFU), explains the benefits of this bill to the private sector and economy. Below are the excerpts:

What does the Local Content Bill 2017 that has just been passed by Parliament entail?
The major objective of this bill is to maximise value-addition and job creation through the use of local expertise, goods and services, businesses, and financing in all undertakings where public funds are used.

Currently, about 75 per cent of our national budget is focused on public procurement and until this law is put in place, 60 per cent of taxpayers’ money has been externalised through civil works contracts, purchase of goods and services as well as the procurement of international consultants.

This bill therefore, is intended to ensure that certain goods and services are exclusively procured from within Uganda as well as require that civil works are subcontracted to Ugandan firms. This intervention will help build local capacities but also drastically reduce the externalisation of Uganda’s meagre resources.

Which goods and services does this law talk about?
Some of the goods and services which shall be procured exclusively from Uganda and supplied by the local companies and individuals, include coffee, cotton, maize, mangoes, onions, groundnuts, eggs, oranges, lime, wheat, beef, potatoes, sunflower, cassava, tomatoes, flowers and live animals.

The list of services that shall be procured locally, include personnel transportation, security, banking, services, foods and beverages, hotel accommodation and catering, human resource management, stationery, and office supplies, emergency response services, customs clearance, fuel supply, land surveying and public works, in accordance with the threshold determined by the Minister.


By Dorothy Nakaweesi - Daily Monitor, Tuesday, 14th July 2020

Kampala, Uganda, June 9, 2020 – Today the Private Sector Foundation Uganda (PSFU) announced the creation of the COVID-19 Economic Recovery and Resilience Response Program in partnership with the Mastercard Foundation. 

The program will extend immediate relief, recovery and resilience interventions to counter the impact of COVID-19. 

The COVID-19 Economic Recovery and Resilience Response Program, with a commitment of US$8.3m (equivalent to Ush 31bn) from the Mastercard Foundation COVID-19 Recovery and Resilience Program, will be used to;

  • Procure 30,000 PCR (Polymerise Chain Reaction)  test kits for use by the COVID-19 National Taskforce.
  • Purchase  personal protection equipment (PPE) and other critical items for frontline workers in the fight against  COVID-19.
  • Support the enhancement and adaptation of standards and quality certification and management by Uganda National Bureau Standards (UNBS) and qualifying private laboratories to improve the quality of goods for domestic and export markets.
  • Support Uganda Healthcare Federation to develop a digitised quality assurance system for the standardisation of services in private medical facilities across the country.
  • Support at least 200 qualifying enterprises whose operations have been affected by COVID-19 to survive and thrive in new and existing local and international markets.
  • Support government, through the National Planning Authority, to develop a post-COVID-19 recovery and growth strategy. 

The COVID-19 Economic Recovery and Resilience Response Program  complements the efforts of the Government of Uganda to control the spread of COVID-19 and develop a post COVID-19 recovery and growth strategy to support the survival, recovery and resilience of enterprises impacted by the negative economic effects of COVID-19. 

“On behalf of all the stakeholders of the private sector, I would like to express my sincere gratitude to Mastercard Foundation for their support during this unforeseen time as we all fight to survive and thrive despite the undesirable effects of COVID-19. We are principally honored for the opportunity that Mastercard Foundation is partnering with PSFU to advance the development of the private sector in Uganda. We will honor our partnership by ensuring that we fulfill the responsibility they have entrusted us with to all our stakeholders,” said Hon. Dr. Elly Karuhanga, Chairman of Private Sector Foundation Uganda.

The creation of the COVID-19 Economic Recovery and Resilience Response Program is aligned to the Foundation’s Young Africa Works strategy. Young Africa Works, developed in consultation with young people, policymakers, educators, and entrepreneurs, is Mastercard Foundation’s strategy that aims to enable 30 million young people in Africa, to access dignified and fulfilling work over the next 10 years. 

“‘Young Africa Works is about connecting young people to opportunities, enabling them to build and sustain their livelihoods. We have to safeguard the work opportunities that already exist but are threatened by COVID-19 as we deepen our work in identified priority economic sectors and explore emerging opportunities that will create new pathways to work,’ said Samuel Yalew Adela, Country Head, Uganda, at the Mastercard Foundation. 

The Mastercard Foundation is also responding to COVID-19 on a continental level. On June 4, 2020 the Foundation announced its partnership with Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC). Through its COVID-19 Recovery and Resilience Program, the Mastercard Foundation is committing US$40 million to the Africa CDC’s Partnership to Accelerate COVID-19 Testing (PACT). These funds will be used to purchase 1 million test kits, as well as train and deploy 10,000 community healthcare workers and 80 surveillance rapid responders to support contact tracing as well as strengthen the Africa CDC’s capacity to oversee a continental response to the pandemic. 



For media enquiries, please contact:


Private Sector Foundation Uganda (PSFU) 


Allan Ssenyondwa

Project Manager; COVID-19 Economic Recovery and Resilience Response Program

+256 784 358 654

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Francis Kisirinya

Deputy Executive Director

Private Sector Foundation Uganda

+256 772 438 539

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Mastercard Foundation

Helen White, Strategy Lead, Program Communications

Telephone: +27 76 166 5372

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Uganda holds first E-conference on COVID-19 and the Economy

  • Private Sector Foundation Uganda

Kampala: May 3rd, 2020 - Private Sector Foundation in partnership with UN Women have today hosted the first E-conference on mitigating the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on the Ugandan economy.

The two days’ conference was conducted using online ZOOM meeting tool and broadcasted live on NBS TV. The conference was conducted under the theme, “Inclusive Economic Stimulus Strategy, Opportunities and Linkages”. The conference attracted over 10,000 business owners and senior managers’ politicians, civil servants, civil society/religious leaders including people in the diaspora

The conference came as a response of the outbreak of covid-19 pandemic that has taken a heavy toll on global economies. In less than 6 months, there has been unprecedented contraction in economic activities, global deterioration of financial conditions, suspension of transportation, nose-diving of stocks, crumbling of health systems, loss of jobs especially for young people and women, cancellation/postponement of major events, and so many other far-reaching consequences on humanity and economies.

According to UN Women Country Representative Dr. Maxime Houinato, “COVID-19 pandemic has proved to be a serious threat on the socio-economic development of Uganda. The spike in unemployment rate especially for young people and women makes planning for the post COVID-19 era very important.” Dr. Houinato noted that Women are often engaged in low-paying, informal work and businesses and as primary breadwinners for their families, disruptions as a result of the COVID-19 response will compromise their ability to meet their families’ needs.

 Download detailed report here 

PSFU Business Barometer: COVID-19 impact on businesses report

  • Private Sector Foundation Uganda

Kampala: 19th May 2020 – Private Sector Foundation Uganda (PSFU) consulted its membership to analyse the impact of COVID-19 on their enterprises through a survey dubbed PSFU Business Barometer. The business barometer looked at the overall business performance including operations, and employment status. The feedback from the analysis formed the proposed interventions to Government to resuscitate the economy. The recommendations on what businesses should be thinking about now and, in the coming months as the country looks to reopen business operations. 

The objectives for this survey include;

  1. Establishing the actual impact of COVID-19 on the members business operations
  2. Provide feedback for the development of policy recommendations and a business relief and recovery proposals to Government to alleviate the negative impact of COVID-19 on the private sector and accelerate economic recovery.

    pdf Click here to download report details... (1.26 MB)