Minister Urges Continued Support for President Museveni’s Vision in Greater Masaka

Hon. Babirye Milly Babalanda, Minister for Presidency, appeals to the people of Greater Masaka to maintain their support for President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni to ensure the stability and socioeconomic development of Uganda.

Hon. Babirye Milly Babalanda, Minister for Presidency, has urged the people of Greater Masaka to continue supporting President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni in order to maintain the country’s stability, which is causing the current socioeconomic development.

According to Hon. Babalanda, the President’s current priority is on combating unemployment in Uganda by skilling young people.

“We are accomplishing all of this because we have a leader who has a vision for Uganda. Therefore, encourage him to accomplish more. The longer we stay with him, the more stable we will be, and the more these industrial hubs will flourish and expand into colleges to accommodate more children. As a result, I urge everyone to support President Museveni in his efforts to lead the country and develop it into a middle-income country,” she stated.

Hon. Babalanda made the statements today during the Greater Masaka Presidential Industrial Hub graduation ceremony, which was held at Ndegeya Village in Bugabira Parish, Masaka City.

A total of 447 trainees from the first and second intakes 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.

“Today’s graduation is a significant success for the NRM Government and aligns with H.E. the President’s campaign to boost employment development. The old adage “he who teaches you how to fish is greater than he who gives you the fish” is coming into play at these graduations. I commend H.E. the President, who had this vision of expanding employment opportunities and skills for young people, and Madam State House Comptroller, Jane Barekye, and your staff for successfully implementing his vision and directives, as well as effectively supervising and managing the industrial hubs,” Minister Babalanda said, urging parents to continue supporting their children as they embark on their new journey by encouraging them to aim higher.

“I congratulate all of our graduates on their hard work and preparation to become job creators. The knowledge and abilities you gained throughout this program should be used to build your own businesses. You may not start big, but you can gradually expand your ideas into large enterprises. Many of the successful businesspeople we have did not start with degrees, but they used their industry expertise as well as their experience, abilities, and networks to evolve into the powerful individuals we talk about in the country,” the Minister told the graduates.

She also encouraged them to capitalize on the growing business sector in Masaka and the neighboring areas by starting their own businesses.

“The inhabitants of Greater Masaka are diligent, devout, and enthusiastic about business. That is why you have a lot of coffee here, and Masaka City is currently thriving and bustling, and it can be rated higher than certain cities I cannot disclose here,” she said.

Ms. Jane Barekye, the state House Comptroller, informed the chief guest that as one of the measures to increase household income in Uganda, President Museveni chose to establish industrial hubs across the country to teach youngsters aged 18 to 35 in vocational skills.

She went on to say that the industrial hubs project was an economic intervention that would, among other things, create jobs for young people, produce job creators rather than job seekers, reduce crime in cities, and bridge the gap between the unemployed and the employed in terms of economic rewards.

“The President is now planning to set up common user facilities with required machines in every district that hosts skilling hubs and other business centres to give our graduates the opportunity to continue practising their skills,” Ms. Barekye said, before urging district leaders to hire the skilled youths.

“When awarding these contracts to build schools and other works, put a condition for those companies to make sure they employ our skilled youths because they have the required skills,” she went on to say.

“To the graduates, discipline is the most valuable selling point of any human person. Even if you have a degree, you will not be able to advance without discipline. As you go out there, please represent our presidential hub properly. “You will succeed, and I wish you the best,” she said.

H.E Edward Kiwanuka Ssekandi, special envoy for Political Affairs in the Office of the President, thanked President Museveni for what he described as a remarkable initiative that has seen Ugandan youngsters gain from life skills.

“I’ve been observing and closely monitoring the Presidential Skilling Hub centers, and I admire Ms. Jane Barekye’s excellent job. “I thank her for diligently overseeing this project, which His Excellency the President entrusted to you,” H.E Ssekandi stated.

H.E Ssekandi, who is also the former Vice President of the Republic of Uganda, informed the chief guest that the Presidential Initiative has brought many young people into the money economy and given them possibilities to be job creators rather than job seekers, thereby increasing their household income.

“I therefore appeal to His Excellency the President to increase funding towards this Initiative so as to benefit more Ugandans,” the president added.

He also congratulated the students on completing their skilling journey at the Presidential Skilling Hub, stating that it is a significant achievement not only for them and their families, but also for the nation.

“I encourage graduates to implement the characteristics of honesty and resilience that have been taught to them. As you leave the Institution and enter the real world, I want you to build on the information and abilities you’ve gained. Continue to learn and keep up with the latest skills. I encourage you to seize any chance that comes your way and use the skills you’ve learned to overcome the problems you’ll face. The knowledge gained here indicates that education unlocks potential and creates pathways to a brighter future,” H.E Ssekandi told the students.

Ppokino Jude Muleke, the Kabaka of Buganda’s delegate in Buddu County, praised President Museveni for not forgetting the importance of youth in any country’s growth.

“I’d like to thank His Excellency the President for this location. If we want to grow a country, we must prioritize the youth. Currently, there is a continuous pattern of leader abuse. This is primarily due to our employees’ redundancy and lack of employment opportunities. We hope that once skilled, our youths will be able to engage in constructive job,” Ppokino Muleke stated, adding that Buganda Kingdom will continue to support all government programs aimed at building the country.

“I urge skilled youths to consider commercial farming, particularly coffee cultivation, as they seek employment. When the President came here, I requested him for a tractor to assist our people in commercial agriculture. “We hope it helps our people,” he said.

The Directorate of Industrial Training (DIT) awarded graduates with a Uganda Vocational Qualifications Level One Certificate, which is equivalent to the Uganda Certificate of Education level and internationally recognized, according to Ms. Safinah Nakyobe, DIT’s Deputy Director in Charge of Qualification Standards.

“This credential will make it easier for you to enter the workforce, whether you start your own business or seek a job. You have created excellent things, and I really thank you. I also want to congratulate the Ugandan government for their skill-building project. Ms. Nakyobe stated that many Ugandans lack skills, making it difficult for them to get work.

Hon. Godfrey Kiwanda Ssuubi, NRM Vice Chairperson for Central Region, also spoke at the occasion, thanking the State House Comptroller for implementing the NRM’s 2021-2026 Manifesto, which was based on the topic “Securing your future”.

The Greater Masaka Industrial Hub aims to teach and equip adolescents from Masaka, Sembabule, Lwengo, Bukomansimbi, Kalungu, Lyantonde, Kalangala, Masaka City, Kyotera, Kalungu, Bukomansimbi, and Rakai in a variety of vocational fields.

Ms. Namukasa Faridah of Lyantonde, who learned welding and metal fabrication, was one among the students who thanked the President for the opportunity to learn.

“Despite the fact that I am a girl, I do not look down on myself. The metals were often too heavy for me to handle, but I persevered. “Now I can weld anything, including windows, doors, and fences,” Faridah explained.

She urged fellow adolescents to take the skill-building program seriously and not sit on themselves after training.

“Don’t just sit at home. Our parents did their part, and President Museveni trained us for free. Take to the field and demonstrate your abilities. “Long live His Excellency,” she said.

Mr. Kagimu Abas from Masaka’s Nyendo-Mukungwe division informed the chief guest that he had a senior six certificate but was unable to support himself, and by the time he joined the hub, he was as if he had never attended school.

“I came here because my youth leader told me where to obtain application forms. As I speak, I am a qualified welder who uses his skill to make money, despite having spent many years in formal education with no skill. I commend the President for taking the effort to skill us. “I urge my fellow youths to take this opportunity seriously because it is not discriminatory,” Mr. Kagimu stated.

Ms. Namutebi Swabra from the Lyantonde district also learned how to tailor.

“I had some formal schooling, but I was unable to support myself. I came here to learn tailoring, and after six months, I can now support myself. I also own a little boutique. I thank my instructors, Sharifa and Suzan, for teaching me. “Long live H.E President Museveni.”

Other speakers at the ceremony included Eng. Raymond Kamugisha, Director Presidential Projects and Industrial Hubs, Hon. Shartsi Musherure, Member of Parliament for Mawogola North constituency, and Hon. Vincent Bamulangaki Ssempijja, former Minister of Defense and Veteran Affairs.

Greater Masaka Zonal Industrial Hub is one of 19 hubs established across the country with the goal of training over 12,000 youngsters each year through the Presidential Initiative on Youth Skilling to usher them into the money economy.

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