“President Museveni is an Expert in Diagnosing Problems Affecting Ugandans and Offering Solutions,” Says Vice President Jessica Alupo

The Vice President of the Republic of Uganda, H.E Jessica Alupo has commended President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni for being an expert in diagnosing the problems of Ugandans and offering solutions to them.

“Having going through the workshops and training areas this morning and having seen the products, I hasten to add that H.E the President is an expert in diagnosing problems that affect the people but also he is quick to provide a solution to those problems, making the people of Uganda very lucky to have him,” she said.

H.E Alupo made the remarks today while officiating at the graduation ceremony of Teso subregion Industrial Zonal Hub in Soroti City.

The Vice President also thanked President Museveni for spearheading the industrial hub initiative that has enabled the skilling of the youth in order to fight unemployment. 

“For the case of today’s ceremony, the government has established 19 presidential industrial hubs across the country and I would like you to appreciate President Museveni for spearheading this particular initiative among the many initiatives that he has spearheaded before for the wellbeing of the people of Uganda,” she explained.

“Most importantly, I thank the government for providing resources that enabled the State House Comptroller and the team to train the students. The very important aspect which everyone appreciates is the aspect of admitting students to the program whether they speak English or not. I want to thank you and your team for admitting these students irrespective of their education background. This is a very good way of ensuring that no one is left behind and that is the work of the NRM government; to bring everyone on board.”

H.E Alupo also thanked the State House Comptroller, Ms. Jane Barekye for being a ground- oriented person who is always in the field to ensure State House projects like the industrial Hubs are a success.

“I would like to encourage you to continue doing that because if you do so, you become part of monitoring and evaluation which is a very important aspect in the implementation and success of any program,” she noted.

She also tipped the youth on the four sectors of the economy where they will be able to find employment.

“These include commercial agriculture, industry or manufacturing, services and ICT. And we are privileged today that under industry, we have graduated carpenters, welders, shoemakers among others. Madam Comptroller, that is a clear demonstration that you are moving in the right direction,” the Vice President said.

To the graduands, H.E Alupo advised the youth to keep healthy and remain disciplined in order to be able to achieve their dreams.

“Support the efforts of the government in protecting and preserving our environment.” 

The State House Comptroller, Ms. Jane Barekye explained to the Vice President that President Museveni decided to initiate the Industrial hubs project as an economic intervention to among others, create jobs among the youth, create job creators not job seekers, reduce criminality in the cities and improve household incomes.

“Your Excellency, you have heard testimonies of different job creators here who have achieved this through these skills to make a living. Another objective was to reduce the level of criminality in the cities especially among the youth who had lost direction but now they have a direction, they know what to do, their minds are changed and therefore, there’s no criminality in the cities because of these skills. All those objectives are already achieved,” Ms. Barekye said.

“Another objective was to bridge the gap between the unemployed and the employed in the economic gains. With the knowledge they have gained, they are going to earn like the educated. Another objective was to improve household income. This is obvious that when you go with your skill and get what to do, you earn income and be able to look after your families. Another objective was to enhance import substitution and export promotion.”

Ms. Barekye further revealed that as State House, they have a plan to start a common user facility where the beneficiaries can go and work without paying for machines and electricity, produce items, make some money and earn a living.

“Your Excellency, I request you to help us get that budget. Lastly, Your Excellency, our youth should be given a slot in Emyooga and Parish Development Model on a SACCO basis since we already have youth with skills, we shall be able to monitor them so that they can utilise the money well,” she said.  

Ms. Barekye also thanked the Ministry of Local Government for providing the project with land all over the country and helping them to select the beneficiaries.

“I would also like to thank the Ministry of Education for legalising our skills because these skills are equivalent to S.4 certificates. Even if you come without any class, you leave with an S.4 certificate. I thank the parents who gave the President an ear to allow to bring their children here and they became confident that whatever the President is going to give to their children is quality. Thank you very much our parents and the President has not betrayed you.”

The Soroti Resident City Commissioner (RCC), Mr. Paak Peter Pex thanked President Museveni for setting up the skilling program, explaining that it is an answer to youth unemployment.

“Today we are witnessing the graduation of the 1st and 2nd intakes here in Teso and as you have seen through the tours you have made, these young people have done wonders and the NRM is going the right way as far as solving the problem of unemployment is concerned,” he said.

The Commandant of the UPDF 3rd Division, Maj. Gen. Don Nabasa said the graduation was a big day for majority of the graduands since most of them had lost hope and dropped out school but now they have acquired a skill that will enable them to sail through and live a better life.

“I was here a few weeks ago, and I gave them a lecture and I found them a very interesting group. These people are the future of Uganda, for us we are leaving since we are already in the evening of our time and then Uganda will be in their hands. Therefore, if you are not skilled and unable to do something, then you will definitely mess up the country,” Maj Gen. Nabasa said.

“Therefore, through you, Your Excellency, the Vice President, I would like to thank our Commander in Chief and President of the Republic of Uganda for this initiative, this is so wonderful. I have seen what these people are capable of doing. Now, my humble appeal when I was going through all the five hubs within my area of responsibility, I observed two areas that can help these children acquire a skill that does not require a lot of capital. One of them is motor vehicle mechanics and the second one is branding.”

The Deputy Director Assessment and Certification- Directorate of Industrial Training (DIT), Dr. Michael Okumu thanked President Museveni for fulfilling his promise in the Manifesto of 2021-2026.

“We very well know that the Manifesto of 2021-2026 coined very well the skilling agenda in this country and among these which is very critical is skilling all Ugandans irrespective of the Education level,” he said.

“I want to also thank our Minister of Education and Sports, Maama Janet Museveni for the guidance and all the political leaders in the Ministry of Education and the technical staff. Your Excellency, our mandate as the DIT is to guide skills training in this country and also conduct assessment and certification and that is why we are here. We are really grateful that these industrial hubs have revived the key component of the skilling strategy of training Ugandans.”

On the other hand, Dr. Okumu commended the Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) for conducting mindset training at the hub, saying that one of the key pillars in skills training is attitude.

“Your Excellency, as you may know people have a negative attitude towards work and the President has been emphasising this and UPDF has really enabled these people to change their minds towards work and that is what skills training is all about. Before you can use your hand to do something, you must have the right mindset.”

The Mayor of Soroti City, Mr. Joshua Edongu, thanked the government under the wise leadership of President Museveni for setting up the hub that offers skills to the youth. He said this has helped them to engage in productive activities using the special skills they acquired.

The Manager of the Hub, Mr. Bernard Ongura said the zonal hub is a project that was initiated by H.E the President of the Republic of Uganda and in the whole country there are 19 industrial zonal hubs strategically located in all the sub regions of the country.

“Your Excellency, before you are students of two intakes. The first intake started on 15th May, 2023 and ended in September 2023 then the second one started on 20th October, 2023. They all completed their exams properly. The total enrollment for the first intake was 233 students of which 111 were boys and 122 were girls. They all completed the training and are waiting to be given their certificates. The total enrollment of the second intake is 240 students.”

Mr. Ongura further informed the audience that the hub currently offers seven courses which include, tailoring, bakery, welding, hairdressing, carpentry, building and shoe-making.