Minister Commends President’s Youth Employment Initiatives

The minister highlights government projects, including Presidential industrial hubs, aimed at facilitating Ugandans' participation in the money economy, aligning with the National Resistance Movement's (NRM) transformation agenda.

Hon. Balaam Barugahara, Minister of State for Youth and Children Affairs, has praised President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni’s efforts to combat unemployment by training young people.

He stated that this approach has helped to turn young people into job producers.

According to the minister, all government projects, including the Presidential industrial hubs, are intended to assist all Ugandans participate in the money economy, which is part of the National Resistance Movement’s (NRM) transformational mission.

“With the abilities you’ve learned, you don’t need to start seeking for work. Use the talents effectively to build your own businesses and earn money. I encourage you to use the monies provided by the Youth Livelihood program to create something for yourselves,” Hon. Balaam stated.

The minister made the statement during yesterday’s graduation ceremony at Mengo Zonal Presidential Industrial Hub in Bugerere-Nazigo, Kayunga District.

A total of 462 trainees (2nd and 3rd intakes) from 11 districts in the central region completed their vocational training and received certificates in seven (7) disciplines, including bakery and confectionery, welding and metal fabrications, leather processing (shoe-making), tailoring and designing, hairdressing and makeup, building and construction practice, and carpentry and joinery.

Hon. Balaam promised to persuade colleagues cabinet members to set aside monies to provide skilled youths with start-up funding.

Hajjat Minsa Kabanda, Minister for Kampala City and Metropolitan Affairs, expressed delight in the skilling initiative, stating that it had provided many young people with opportunities for employment. She claimed that hundreds of young people have received free training in Kampala alone.

The Directorate of Industrial Training (DIT) granted the skilled youths a Uganda Vocational Qualifications Level One Certificate, which is comparable to the Uganda Certificate of Education level, according to Ms. Safinah Nakyobe, Deputy Director in Charge of Qualification Standards at DIT.

“This certificate will assist you enter the workforce. Your sample products are excellent and ready for sale. Please do not be complacent with your abilities. I also congratulate H.E. the President for the skilling program, as many Ugandans who are not skilled are suffering to make ends meet,” Ms. Nakyobe stated.

Eng. Raymond Kamugisha, Director of Presidential Projects and Industrial Hubs, congratulated President Museveni for having the foresight to establish industrial skilling hubs that are transforming ignorant youngsters into job creators with credentials.

“It has never happened in Uganda that someone who has never attended school may come here, learn a skill, graduate with vocational skills, and be able to support themselves. What skills does a student have after completing senior six? This is the only way to alter our country. Eng. Kamugisha thanked H.E. the President for this initiative, adding that the government will follow up with all skilled graduates to see how they are doing.

He urged Members of Parliament to support their intentions to expand the initiative, which includes setting up common user facilities for talented adolescents to continue practising their trades while simultaneously marketing their products.

“We propose to start with two common user facilities. “We hope and pray for your support when we present our budget to Parliament,” he told the MPs.

Hon. Idah Erios Nantaba, Woman Member of Parliament for Kayunga District, supported the request and vowed her and other MPs’ assistance to ensure the initiative continues to benefit many more people in society.

“We always set aside money to buy hospital equipment, including beds, which cost Shs5 million each, but I’ve been told that a hospital bed made here costs only Shs1 million and is of high quality.” This is why we need to support the initiative,” Hon. Nantaba stated.

Capt. Yunus Ntegeka of the UPDF Engineering Brigade informed the graduates that the force is implementing a directive from the Commander-In-Chief, who is also the President of the Republic of Uganda, Gen. Museveni, to construct all government projects, and that skilled youths from the presidential hubs will be their first priority in carrying out the directive.

“We have projects in practically every district and are utilizing local content. We hire village youths and pay them appropriately. So, if we can hire people who are not trained, why can’t we start recruiting our skilled graduates as long as they are disciplined?” Capt. Ntekega asked.

He also encouraged skilled youngsters in carpentry, building, plumbing, and metal fabrication to register with the Resident District Commissioners (RDCs), as their database will be critical in providing employment in the UPDF’s initiatives.

The Mengo Zonal Industrial Hub in Kayunga attracts youngsters from 11 districts, including Butambala, Kayunga, Mukono, Wakiso, Buikwe, Nakasongola, Gomba, Mpigi, and Luwero.

The pupils who graduated and found work thanked President Museveni for training them and allowing them to enter the money industry.

Among them was Ms. Nnanozi Siama, who learned how to tailor.

“Before coming here, I had completed primary seven but had nothing to do, and my life was a disaster. After six months of training, I can now make any garment you can conceive of. I even made the dress I am wearing. Nnanozi expressed gratitude to President Museveni for allowing him to earn his own money, which he had never considered before.

Another graduate, Mr. Jjumba Ashraf from Butambala, stated that he had completed senior six but was unable to find work due to a lack of skills.

“After 6 months of learning welding and fabrication, I’m better off than someone who spent 16 years studying up to senior six without learning anything. Jjumba added, “Thanks to President Yoweri Museveni, I can buy anything I want.”

The occasion drew a number of NRM and opposition officials, most notably the National Unity Platform, who praised President Museveni for his nonpartisan commitment to prepare all Ugandans to participate in the money economy. Among them was Mukono District Chairman Rev. Peter Bakaluba Mukasa, who rallied other leaders to support the idea.

Several dignitaries attended the occasion, including State House staff, Members of Parliament, RDCs, District LC5 Chairpersons, District Commercial Officers, Chief Administrative Officers, and NRM District Chairpersons.

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