9 January 2013

Uganda: Govt Sets Conditions for Women Travelling to China

Photo: Ronnie Kijjambu/New Vision
Cardinal Wamala at St Peter’s Catholic Church Nsambya. He called for prostitution to be outlawed (file photo).

The government of Uganda recently directed the Chinese embassy not to give out travel permits to Ugandan women under the age of 35 intending to travel to China for business.

The directive came at a time amid reports that some women end up into prostitution instead of real business.

Sources told The Independent that it is the foreign affairs ministry that wrote to the embassy of China last year preventing this group from travelling.

The reports caught the attention of most business persons, who argued that, it was a wrong decision to stop such a group and that would negatively affect the economy when it came to earning revenue from abroad.

"People below that age [25] are regarded as the most courageous in terms of doing profitable business," said Everest Kayondo, the chairperson of Kampala city Traders association in an interview on Jan. 9. Kayondo added that: "It could be true that some women go there and do other things but that does not apply to all."

He said they have engaged the ministry of economic monitoring and the Chinese embassy in Uganda to sort the issue out. "We were told to give recommendations to women we know about that are serious about doing business,' he said, adding we have so far recommended over 200.

The decision also came at a time when economic relations between the two countries were growing. For instance, China's investment in Africa has grown rapidly in recent years, surging from $490m at the end of 2003 to $14.7b in 2011.

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