Karamoja is a sub-region of Uganda, where decades of brutal conflict and a harsh, arid climate have contributed to some of the worst poverty indicators in the world. In Uganda’s development history, Karamoja region remains the least socially and economically developed, with 61% it’s 1.2 million people living in poverty (UNHS, 2016/17).
Karamoja sub region largely depends on animal husbandry and rain fed agriculture for livelihood and employment. Young people, who constitute half of the region’s population with the energy and potential to propel economic growth are caught up in a web of unemployment, underemployment and vulnerable employment.
The lack of decent work, experienced at an early age, compromises the population’s future employment prospects and frequently lead to unsuitable labour behaviour patterns that last a lifetime and foster an environment of social exclusion for young people. Evidence links unemployment to idleness of young people which potentially are risks for increased crime, mental health problems, violence, conflicts and drug abuse (UBOS, 2017)
However, in recent years, disarmament has restored peace and the region has attracted significant foreign investment. Hoping to benefit from these opportunities, many Karamojong are now seeking alternative livelihoods to traditional cattle rearing. Many have settled in permanent or semi-permanent villages and attained University Education and want economic opportunities for their children and youths
Karamoja has a vast educated English-speaking workforce with computer skills; there are more than 200 graduates added every year. Low operating and labour costs and fast internet speeds makes the region an ideal Business Process Outsourcing destination for companies globally. The large wage difference make it very attractive for companies to lower costs and gain a business advantage over their competitors by outsourcing non-critical but essential back-office operations.