Ideas Into Action
We are here: News | Featured stories


An exclusive interview with the executive director, Living Earth Uganda, Swithern Tumwine

Question: What is the GOAL and OBJECTIVES of the Jobs and Oil project under implementation by LEU?

Answer:  The goal of the project is to empower youth and women, alleviate poverty and promote gender equality in the project area.

The project objective is to support access to employment of disadvantaged groups,  particularly  youth  and  women,  through targeted   vocational   and   technical   training   and the  promotion  of  local  enterprise  to  supply  the workforce and service needs of the burgeoning oil sector

Question: How long has this project been on course? And what is the target area(s)?

Answer:  The project started in October, 2013 and therefore has been on course for 16 months (1 year and 4 months). The project target areas are: Hoima, Buliisa and Masindi in Western Uganda.

Question: What are the project’s key areas of intervention, and why specifically in the Albertine region?

Answer:  The project’s key areas of intervention are:

  1. A vocational training program focused on the demands of the oil and gas industry supply chain, established and operational through local training institutions, rendering youths and women employable within the oil sector.
  2. A business training programme that leads to emergence of a skilled and effective business sector wherein youth and women-led enterprises derive income from delivery of service contracts to the oil industry.
  3. Capacity in raising awareness of rights and responsibilities   of   stakeholders   and   developing effective  monitoring  systems,  particularly  among vulnerable  groups  such  as  women  and  youth to  monitor  performance  and  raise  an  alarm  if performance doesn’t meet agreed standards
  4. Building a cadre of ecosystems entrepreneurs deriving   economic   benefits   from   operating   in areas vulnerable to the negative impacts of oil development.

The Albertine region was targeted and specifically Hoima, Buliisa and Masindi because they were among  the  poorest  districts  in  western  Uganda that may not be in position to absorb the shocks that may arise out of the discovery of oil and gas in the region. Secondly the local leadership/opinion leaders after learning of what Living Earth Uganda has done over years in other parts of Uganda, approached and requested  Living Earth Uganda to extend  its intervention to their area. They liked the approach and the interventions because they were helping the vulnerable groups especially women and youth.  Thirdly since there was the discovery of Oil and Gas, and LEU was building on the network experience of LEF in other mature oil producing areas, LEU believed this expertise could be shared to help prepare people in this region. Fourthly there was a call for funding from EC which coincided with the request of leadership of the project area which favored the decision to go ahead with the project. Finally, it was also within LEU’s legal mandate to operate in the project area.

Question: Why is the project focusing mainly on youth and women?

Answer:  The reason why the project is focusing on youth and women is because they are the majority, very productive, yet not learned/ without skills and very vulnerable.

Question: What are the experiences and lessons learned while undertaking this project in the Albertine region?

Answer: The region has been very receptive, the vulnerable groups are willing and ready to learn and also engage in productive activities in the economy. The intervention has been very successful because of our working through and with existing structures, building networks and synergies.

Question: Do you think Living Earth Uganda is meeting  the  expectations of  its  partners  (Donor, Government, Oil Companies, Local Leaders, Local Community and stakeholders) and how?

Answer: We have met the expectations of the partners and donors because we implement the project together with stakeholders. We do not implement the project for them but together with them. The stakeholders further guide the implementation of the project through feedback engagement platforms like stakeholder engagement forums, the project advisory panel (comprising of the local leaders from the areas of operation guiding the team in project implementation), the panel of experts, and key sector players.

Question: Please highlight key achievements of Jobs and Oil project so far?


  • We have Signed MoUs with Hoima, Buliisa and Masindi district leadership
  • Signed MoUs with Uganda Association of Private Vocational Institutions (UGAPRIVI)
  • Created employment for Ugandans through establishment of project office in Hoima- 9 new staff and retain 3 old staff (direct)
  • Established platform(s)     for exchange in the districts but also at national level that benefit communities and contribute to policy
  • Work with 11 VTIs to support the training of instructors and placement for work experience where 20 instructors have so far received training in modern instruction methodology; 88 employers identified and over 300 students placed for work experience
  • Work with 10 Secondary schools from Hoima &   Buliisa   to   establish   the   Science,   Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) Programme
  • Have   developed   a   business   development training programme to promote local enterprises to participate in the oil and gas supply chain where 66 beneficiaries have received business skills training and 215 youth and women trained in functional skills
  • We   have   developed   a   capacity   building programme   to   increase   women   participation   in leadership and decision making where 80 women leaders have been trained in leadership and advocacy skills.
  • We  have  also  to  that  effect  supported  40 women leaders to undertake exchange/learning visits to districts  where  women have high influence and participation in decision making

Question:What are your prospects of the project, and Living Earth Uganda at large?


  • That it will achieve the stated estimated results of the project i.e. increased assess of employment through delivery of vocational training programme, emergence  of  skilled  and  effective business  sector wherein  youth  and  women  led  enterprises  derive income from delivery of service contracts to the oil industry,  understanding  of  links  and  gaps  between training and the labour market through participatory action research etc…
  • Getting a follow on project(s) to cover the whole Albertine region but also scale up to reach more beneficiaries(Ugandans)
  • Through    project    impact(s)    contribute    to improved economy of the Uganda
  • Stimulate     government,     international     oil companies and development partners to think alike and enhance sustainability of the project impacts
  • Raise  the  visibility  and  reputation  of  Living Earth Uganda in the region and at national level about our ability to turn ideas into action
Follow us on:
The Tin man of Lira
LEU and Urban Livelihoods Gayaza Mushroom Project Practical training in Mbarara Waste management in Nansana
Living Earth elsewhere Cameroon |Nigeria| Sierra Leon | Kenya | Mali | Venezuela | United Kingdom
© 2019 Living Earth Uganda. All Rights Reserved.