KAMPALA – Uganda’s economy will continue struggling as more Ugandans spend most of their time in non-productive activities as well as engaging in non-paying work.
According to a new report from the Uganda Bureau of statistics (UBOS) on Time usage in Uganda, about 13.3% of the population spends time on nonproductive works with men contributing the largest part of 13.5% and women 13.1%.
The 2017/18 time use survey was conducted in 112 Districts across the country and covered 3364 households.
Its objectives were to increase visibility of unpaid care work through better statistics on their contribution to the economy and to collect and analyze the comprehensive information about the time spent by people on market and non-market economic activities among other objectives.
Looked at how Ugandans were spending their time on economic activity the report focused on three categories of activities; unpaid care works, productive work and nonproductive work.
The respondents were assessed according to their level of education, geographical location and gender.
In the report that was presented in Kampala on January 15 by Danstan Aguta Statistician at UBOS, on average time spent on activity by region, it was found that Eastern and Northern Uganda had the highest number of Ugandans spending their time on nonproductive activities.
“The findings show that Eastern Uganda had 14% Northern region at 13.4% then Central region 13.4% and lastly Western registered the lowest population with Ugandan engaging in nonproductive works. On the side of non-paid care works Eastern and Northern again lead the four regions and when we come to productive work Central and Western region had the highest number standing at 6% and 5.65 respectively,” Aguta said during the release of the report.
Some of the non-productive activities that most Ugandans were spending most of their time into include drinking alcohol in bars and visiting friends, among other things.
About those engaging in productive work, the study shows that majority of Ugandan are still depending on agriculture as their source of employment.
In the report, 50% of the respondents (male) and 59% (female) were in agriculture and agroforestry as their occupation. The rest of the populations were in service and sales with women being the majority.
On the unpaid care work, the report found that illiterate women spent a lot of their time on unpaid care works compare to their male counterparts. In the report, it was found the most vulnerable to being unpaid are those between 18 and 30 years.
The most activities which women were more engaged include caring for the sick, elders caring for children alongside other domestic work.
What needs to be done
Discussing the outcome of the report, James Muwonge the Director Economic Social services at UBOS said government should ensure that it comes up with social and economic empowering policies that can support all Ugandans across various age brackets to become economically active.
“Once we continue having more Ugandans being busy in nonproductive activities, the more poverty levels will continue escalating in the country and this undermines social and economic transformation of the societies,” he said.
Anna Mutavati, the Deputy UN Women Country Representative, urged the government to invest more resources in Infrastructure such as clean energy and water because access to safe water is big challenge in the country.
“Ugandan women waste a lot of time fetching water and firewood because the country has not yet improved its access to safer water indices especially in the rural areas this keeps women walking long distance to collect water and fire wood , government need to work on that,” she said.
BY SAMUEL NABWIISO