King Oyo Hails President Museveni for Skilling the Youth

The Omukama of Tooro Kingdom, His Royal Highness, Oyo Nyimba Kabamba Iguru Rukidi IV has hailed President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni for skilling the youths with employable vocational skills. 

He said the President’s initiative enables 78% of Uganda’s young population below the age of 30 to join the money economy.

“I want to thank H.E the President of the Republic of Uganda for establishing Industrial Hubs across the country to skill the youths in different trades,” Omukama Oyo said.

King Oyo’s remarks were contained in a speech delivered on Tuesday 23rd April, 2024 at the graduation ceremony of 489 youths who have completed vocational training at Tooro Presidential Industrial Hub located at Kijwiiga, Kyenjojo district. 

His speech was delivered by Mr. Kwemara NgabuWilliam who is Tooro’s Deputy Prime Minister in charge of Finance and Administration. 

A total of 19 regional Industrial hubs have been set up by the government across the country Under the Presidential Initiative to skill youth into the money economy.

Students drawn from the districts of Bunyangabu, Kyegegwa, Kyenjojo, Kitagwenda, Kamwenge and Kabarole districts were awarded certificates in seven (7) vocational disciplines namely; Tailoring and design, Hairdressing and makeup, Building and Construction Practice, Carpentry & Joinery, Welding and metal fabrications, Bakery & Confectionery and Leather processing (shoe making).

King Oyo noted that when formal education was introduced in Uganda, the purpose was to create a force of white-collar workers to support the protectorate administration and up to today, there still exists a big and wrong mindset in Uganda that education is meant to prepare people for white collar formal sector employment for life, with a pension on retirement.

“Inevitably, we must now turn to Technical and Vocational Education; and Self-Employment. Attitudes towards work should change, the fallacy that education contributes significantly to employment, and that jobs are available and people should be able to identify job offers should change. We need to revisit the concepts of Employment and Employability. Employment should also include Self-Employment,” Omukama stressed, adding that lifetime jobs are getting fewer everyday as employers prefer short term performance-based contracts, where they even avoid pension as a way of reducing costs.

He pledged on behalf of the kingdom to support all efforts to improve the young people’s lives and to contribute to the President’s effort in skilling the youth.

“We have a Youth Skilling Centre, and we are replicating it in all our counties, we have an ICT centre to train the youth in ICT skills and Artificial Intelligence, and model farms for demonstration and experiential learning. Skills Development and Employment Creation for the Youth is one of the pillars of the Kingdom Vision 2045. The above notwithstanding, I have directed my ministers and saza chiefs to mobilise all Tooro kingdom subjects to take advantage of the training offered by the Industrial Hubs wherever they are,” King Oyo added.

The Omukama also called upon the Ministry of Education and Sports to ensure Universities and Other Tertiary Institutions improve the pathways for Vocational and Technical Education for those who want to improve on what they have acquired in skilling hubs.

At the ceremony, students were awarded Uganda Vocational Qualifications Level One Certificate by the Directorate of Industrial Training (DIT) which is equivalent to the Uganda certificate of education level according to the Directorate’s Senior Qualifications Officer – Mr. Wanakina Fred.

“This is an occupational certificate to help you get a job and not a course. Don’t end here, keep on practising. Look for a job as a volunteer and that’s where your skills will prove that you indeed know what you’re doing,” Mr. Wanakina said.

The Hub Manager, Ms. Cynthia Kamasaka informed the guests that the training centre receives 40 students from each district in Tooro region with the help of the district committees. She described the skilling program as one of the successful ones.

“I would like to thank the President for his thoughtfulness. This is one of the most successful programs of the government, offering practical skills in six months and we dispatch them when they are ready for the job market. On top of the skills, we have mindset change and ideology spearheaded by the UPDF,” Ms. Kamasaka said.

The Resident District Commissioner- Kyenjojo, Ms. Ayesiga Julian thanked President Museveni for prioritising the Tooro region in a special way with 3 skilling hubs.

“I also thank the parents for sending us children who are disciplined. Go to the field and remain as good as you have been. I wish you well wherever you will be working and do what is required of you to represent the good image of the President and the NRM government,” the RDC said. 

The Resident District Commissioner for Kyegegwa, Ms. Monica Karungi appreciated President Museveni for his parental love to the unprivileged children. 

“We thank His Excellency the President for establishing this hub to skill the youths especially the girl child for them to be able to do something for themselves and get empowered. During our tour, we have seen very innovative work done by our children and I would like to thank the instructors for training our children,” Ms. Karungi said. 

The commissioner Local Economic Development, Ministry of Local Government, Mr. Anthony Namara congratulated the graduates who successfully completed the 6 months course, describing the achievement as a significant step towards propelling themselves into the realm of economic prosperity.

“I must express our profound gratitude to His Excellency the President for his unwavering commitment to empowering the youth and women of our nation. His vision for economic transformation resonates in programs like this, and we are grateful for the funds provided through the State House Comptroller to make this initiative possible,” Mr. Namara said, adding that the Ministry of Local government, in collaboration with other stakeholders, will continue to provide post-skilling support and follow-up to ensure their success in the money economy through initiatives like Local Economic Development and Investment Committee linkages.

Students gave testimonies while thanking President Museveni for the opportunity.

Kemirembe Faridah from Kyegegwa who qualified in carpentry and joinery thanked President Museveni for the wonderful program to the young people. 

“When I went to look for a job, they thought I didn’t have skills but when I was given an interview, I impressed them and they employed me. I call upon my fellow youths to encourage colleagues who are loitering on the streets,” Ms. Faridah said.

Murungi Kenneth from Kabarole qualified in tailoring. He informed the guests that after working for a few months he managed to buy his own sewing machine which he put at home to start his own business and he is doing well.