Bundibugyo Leaders Praise President Museveni’s Youth Skilling Program

Hon. Richard Gafabusa, MP for Bwamba County, emphasizes the program's role in providing employment opportunities to youths who may have struggled with formal education. Speaking at the graduation ceremony of 479 youths from the Rwenzori sub-region Industrial hub in Ntoroko district, Gafabusa urges a shift in mindset towards encouraging self-employment and calls on Parish Development Model (PDM) managers to prioritize funding for skilled graduates.

Leaders in Bundibugyo district, Rwenzori Sub-region, have praised President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni for his innovative youth skilling program, which they say is one of Uganda’s most successful anti-unemployment initiatives.

According to Hon. Richard Gafabusa, Member of Parliament for Bwamba County in Bundibugyo district, the Presidential skilling program, which is managed by State House Comptroller Ms. Jane Barekye, has provided employment to thousands of youths across the country who had given up hope after failing to complete 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.

“Let us change our mindset as parents and encourage our children to study things that will lead to self-employment opportunities,” he urged, before urging Parish Development Model (PDM) managers to prioritise funding for skilled graduates.

“The percentage of the PDM designated for youngsters should be directed toward those who have acquired the necessary skills to start their own businesses. If they can organize themselves into groups of ten people each based on their trade, such as carpenters, tailors, builders, and welders, and each earn one million shillings, they will have a total of ten million shillings, which they can use as capital to purchase the necessary machines, such as sewing machines. “They should be the top priority,” Hon. Gafabusa explained.

He urged the State House to consider adding additional marketable crafts such as plumbing and automobile mechanics, which he claimed have ready employment.

“We have so many motorcycles here that need to be repaired on a daily basis. We are fortunate that God provided us with mountain water, but that water must be transported to people’s homes by plumbers. Another discipline is contemporary dairy farming and modern cocoa farming, because cocoa is expensive,” Hon. Gafabusa explained.

Hon. Anne Mary Tumwine, a woman Member of Parliament for Ntoroko District, praised President Museveni and the NRM government for being excellent parents to the Rwenzori region, particularly Ntoroko, Bundibugyo, and Kabarole, for establishing a skilling hub in the region.

“This project is favorably impacting the lives of our youth, particularly those who are taking the program seriously. The talent you have acquired is very essential because it allows you to know what to do and distinguish yourself from others,” Hon. Tumwine stated.

She also praised the UPDF team for its mindset transformation component, which encourages people to love their country and have a positive attitude about employment.

Mr. William Kasoro, Chairperson of the Zonal Hub Management Committee and LC5 Chairperson for Ntoroko, praised President Museveni for his visionary leadership and well-planned policies for Ugandans.

“We are pleased that our industrial center is ranked third among the country’s 19 best performing hubs. We appreciate the NRM government and President Museveni’s wise thinking. Why do we have to travel all the way from Ntoroko to Fort Portal City to buy coffins, as if we told God there would be no death here? Because we needed skilled carpenters. But now we have all the abilities here,” Mr. Kasoro stated.

According to the State House Comptroller, Ms. Jane Barekye, President Museveni decided to launch the Industrial Hubs project as an economic intervention to, among other things, create jobs for youth, create job creators rather than job seekers, reduce crime in cities, and increase household incomes.

Another goal was to reduce the income disparity between jobless and employed people.

The government has built 19 regional industrial hubs across the country as part of the Presidential Initiative to prepare young people for the money economy.

The Directorate of Industrial Training (DIT) gave students the Uganda Vocational Qualifications Level One Certificate, which is equivalent to the Uganda Certificate of Education level and internationally recognized.

Regional Resident District Commissioners and LC5 Chairpersons from the region, together with religious leaders, security officers, and parents, attended the ceremony.

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