Rwenzori Sub-Region Salutes President Museveni for Skilling the Youth to Join the Money Economy

    Leaders in Bundibugyo district, Rwenzori Sub-region have hailed President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni for his visionary skilling program for the youth which they said is one of the most successful campaigns to fight unemployment in Uganda.

    According to Hon. Richard Gafabusa, the Member of Parliament for Bwamba County in Bundibugyo district, the Presidential skilling program that is managed by the State House Comptroller Ms. Jane Barekye has offered employment to thousands of youths countrywide who had lost hope after missing out on formal education.

    “Many people are rushing to study degrees but what type of degree are you acquiring? This program started by the President of this country Yoweri Kaguta Museveni is here to uplift the biggest group of youths with employable skills. This is what the people of Uganda need,” Hon Gafabusa said.

    The legislator made the remarks on Wednesday 24th April, 2024 while presiding over the first ever graduation ceremony of 479 youths who completed their vocational training at Rwenzori sub-region Industrial hub located in Ntoroko district.

    Students of the 1st and 2nd cohorts drawn from the districts of Ntoroko, Fort Portal City and Bundibugyo were awarded certificates in seven (7) employable 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).

    Hon. Gafabusa explained that the program which first became successful in the central region before it expanded to other parts of the country has offered hope to the hopeless uneducated youths who many of them have become more successful than their counterparts with more qualifications in formal education.

    “Let us change our mindset as parents and encourage our children to study things that are going to offer them self-employment opportunities,” he said, before calling upon managers of the Parish Development Model (PDM) to prioritise funding the skilled graduates.

    “The percentage of the PDM meant for the youth should target these youths who have acquired such skills to start their own employment. If they can organise themselves into groups of ten people each according to their trades like; Carpenters, Tailors, builders, welders and be able to acquire one million shillings each, that will be 10 million shillings in total and that can start them off as capital to acquire the required machines like sewing machines. They should be priority number one,” Hon. Gafabusaexplained.

    He called upon the State House to think about adding more marketable trades like plumbing and motor vehicle mechanics which he said have ready employment.

    “We have all these motorcycles here that need to be repaired daily. We are lucky that God gave us water from the mountains, but that water needs plumbers to get it into people’s houses. Another discipline is modern dairy farming and modern cocoa farming because the price of cocoa is high,” Hon. Gafabusaadded.

    The woman Member of Parliament for NtorokoDistrict, Hon. Anne Mary Tumwine appreciated President Museveni and the NRM government for being a good parent of the Rwenzori region especially Ntoroko, Bundibugyo and Kabarole because he established a skilling Hub in the region.

    “This project is positively changing the lives of our youths, especially those who are taking this training seriously. The skill you have attained is very important because it enables you to know what to do and to be different from others,” Hon. Tumwine said.

    She also saluted the UPDF team for the mindset change component for beneficiaries to love their country and have a positive attitude towards work.

    The Chairperson of the Zonal Hub Management Committee who is also the LC5 Chairperson for Ntoroko, Mr. William Kasoro appreciated President Museveni for his visionary leadership and planning very well for Ugandans.

    “We are happy that our industrial hub is ranked 3rd among the best performing hubs out of the 19 we have in the country. We thank the NRM government and President Museveni for thinking very well. Here in Ntoroko, we have to travel all the way to buy coffins from Fort Portal City as if we spoke to God that there will be no death here, why? Because we lacked trained carpenters. But now we have all the skills here,” Mr. Kasoro said.

    According to the State House Comptroller, Ms. Jane Barekye, 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.

    Another objective was to bridge the gap between the unemployed and the employed in the economic gains.

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

    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 and internationally recognized.

    The ceremony was attended by Regional Resident District Commissioners and LC5 Chairpersons from the region, religious leaders, Security officers and parents.