President Museveni’s Zonal Industrial Hubs Tackle Youth Unemployment in Bukedi Sub-region

They highlight the significance of the skills acquired through these hubs, which enable youth to enter the money economy.

Leaders in the Bukedi sub-region have lauded President Museveni for fighting unemployment among the youth through skilling. 

They say the skills acquired through the Presidential Zonal Industrial Hub initiative usher them into the money economy. 

According to the Minister of State for Bunyoro Affairs, Jennifer Kacha Namuyangu, establishing zonal industrial hubs was to solely deal with the high rates of poverty among several communities in Uganda perpetrated by unemployment.

The Minister who is also the Woman Member of Parliament for Kibuku district made the remarks today at the graduation ceremony of 477 students

held at Bukedi Zonal Presidential Industrial Hub located in Lwatama sub-county, Kibuku district.

“In 2018 I was a member of cabinet as Minister of State for Local Government. The President wanted to move around the whole country to preach about wealth creation and fighting poverty. In Bukedi, he came to Kataka in Tirinyi sub county and observed that the population lacked income generating activities and that is the origin of the word “Okukolera Ekidda kyonka”,” Minister Namuyangu said, adding the Presidential tour gave birth to the establishment of zonal industrial hubs to skill the youths between 18 to 35 years in vocational employable skills.

“Okukolera ekidda kyonka” is a Lugwere phrase, meaning working for the stomach only, which is a prevalent practice in Budaka and the surrounding areas.

“He (President Museveni) therefore proposed to have an industrial hub in every region with the required tools to skill the youths in vocational skills of their choice. His other view was that if you have the skills with no capital, you can come to the skilling hub and work from there for free and take your produce to the market,” Hon. Namuyangu added.

The Minister further saluted President Museveni for targeting the people of Bukedi who still have a challenge of poor communities. She urged the beneficiaries to be proactive and make use of the government program to better their lives.

The trainees from the first and the second intakes completed their vocational training and were awarded certificates in seven (7) disciplines. Namely; Bakery & confectionery, welding and metal fabrications, leather processing (shoe making), tailoring and designing, hairdressing and makeup, building and construction practice and carpentry & joinery. 

Each district in Bukedi Sub-region, Eastern Uganda that include; Busia, Tororo and their municipalities, Butaleja, Pallisa, Kibuku, Butebo and Budaka sent 28 youths for training.

“When the President came up with this idea of the hubs, that’s when the idea of Emyooga came about for people to be supported to earn from their skills. He sent Shs30 million for the carpenters, Shs30 million to the tailors and others. He is also going to add Shs20 million for each Mwooga, making it Shs50 million. There’s money for women, youths and now the Parish Development Model (PDM),” Hon. Namuyangu said.

She also asked district leaders to target the skilled young people while allocating the funds.

“Sometimes we give people money with no skill and after getting it, they change their plans and do otherwise,” she stressed.

It should be remembered that on 26th February, 2022, the PDM, a government flagship program targeting especially the 39% of the population which only produces for food and survival, “okukolela ekidda kyonka,” was launched in Kibuku district, Bukedi sub-region, by its chief architect, President Yoweri Museveni to help Ugandans create wealth and fight poverty.

On the other hand, Minister Namuyangu thanked the State House Comptroller, Ms. Jane Barekye for managing the Presidential program very well and the Uganda People’s Defense Forces-UPDF for the mindset component which equipped students to become responsible citizens.

“Many people are entrusted with responsibility but fulfilling it becomes a problem. I thank you Madam Comptroller together with your team for making this program successful in all regions of Uganda,” she said, further urging the youths to use the acquired skills to their advantage and the society.

“As youths, please go and work. You now have no reason to just sit and look down upon yourselves. The Bakedi (people who originate from the Bukedi region) have a culture of marrying many women when they get some money. Please remain faithful to your partners,” Hon. Namuyangu told the graduates.

According to the State House Comptroller, Ms. Jane Barekye, by setting up the initiative, President Museveni intended to among others, create job creators and reduce unemployment, offer jobs to the youths (instructors at the hubs), reduce criminality among the youths, and above all improve household incomes.

She said all the President’s goals have been achieved as far as the skilling initiative is concerned. 

“This is a very wonderful program that the President has given our people to better their lives and I thank the Directorate of Industrial Training – DIT for legalising our certificate which is equivalent to that of Senior four,” Ms. Barekye said.

She further appreciated the management of the Bukedi skilling hub for setting the standards high for others across the country in terms of the quality of work produced and witnessed.

“It is one thing to have a training centre like this, but it is also another to have good trainers. According to what we have seen in the workshops, your works are very good, and I rank you the best hub in the country. I’m going to inform the President to appreciate you in a special way,” Ms. Barekye assured.

The State House Comptroller further revealed that under the same program, State House has a plan to set up a common user facility where the beneficiaries can go and work in groups without paying for machines and electricity, produce items and sell them.

“The President has all that plan and we are going to present our proposal to the Cabinet for consideration and funding,” she said, calling upon the people in the area to make use of the 4-acre model training centre established at the hub in order to learn modern farming methods on a small piece of land which is also a presidential initiative aimed at helping Ugandans increase their household incomes.

Bukedi Zonal Industrial Hub in Kibuku is one of the 19 hubs constructed across the country with the aim of equipping over 12,000 youths every year under the Presidential Initiative on skilling of the youth to usher them into the money economy. Other beneficiaries include Greater Mbarara, Greater Masaka, Kayunga, Kampala, Kyenjojo, Kasese, Ntoroko, Adjumani, Gulu, Lira, Mbale, Kabale, and Jinja districts.

Each learner was awarded with a 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 according to the DIT- Deputy Director Assessment and Certification Dr. Michael Okumu. 

“This is a certificate for the world of work. Allow me to appreciate the President and NRM government for reviving and bringing back the promotion of employable skills by setting up industrial hubs across the country,” Dr. Okumu said.

Mr Okurut James, the LC5 Chairperson for Butebo district who spoke on behalf of the Hub Zonal Management committee informed the chief guest that the Presidential skilling initiative in Bukedi came at the right time when the region and the whole country is trying to find a solution to unemployment.

“To the people of Bukedi, this hub is ours and it is meant to help our population to fight unemployment. This one brings us together as a region and I would like to thank H.E the President of Uganda for this initiative. This is one of his successful programs because it touches the core of society-the youth. This is the way to go,” Mr. Okurut said, adding that the program has been so impactful.

“On Sunday I met a parent who recommended his son to come here in the first intake to learn bakery. He told me that the knowledge his son acquired influenced his siblings into bakery. The father testified to me that now all the family can do the bakery. He has not kept the knowledge to himself but shared with others,” he told the guests.

Mr. Okurut however appealed to the State House to increase the enrollment numbers as the region is grappling with the huge number of unskilled youths who equally need the opportunity.

“This region is big. It starts from Majanji, Samia-Bugwe in Busia District to Gogonyo, Pallisa County in Pallisa District. We therefore request that we expand it to allow more students or we create another hub in the south either in Tororo or Busia because for them to reach here, they go through a certain hub in Mbale,” he added.

The Hub Manager, Ms. Ouma Teddy appreciated the sight and focus that the NRM Government discovered and planned wisely for the development of Bukedi Sub region through the establishment of the industrial Hub.

“I take this golden opportunity to pass a special vote of thanks to the entire team of the National Steering Committee industrial Hubs – State House for the Logistics and Technical support rendered to us by the Bakedi which has brought Mzee’s vision into a practical reality. None of their efforts can be underestimated as good outcomes are already noted,” Ms. Ouma said.

She further thanked the parents in the region for entrusting them with their children for skilling.

“Our dear chief Guest, I take this golden opportunity to congratulate our 477 graduates for having attained this milestone. My daughters and sons, congratulations and thank you so much for being good children. Come 2026, Please don’t forget our dear Jaja H.E Yoweri Kaguta Museveni,” she added.

The Director of Industrial Hubs and Presidential Projects at State House, Eng. Raymond Kamugisha appreciated partners with whom they work to ensure the success of the program. These include among others; the Ministry of Local Government, Resident District Commissioners, Youth Chairpersons, people with disabilities and the UPDF who impart mindset change and ideology skills to students.

Ms. Logose Jane, a student of the first intake from Budaka district who acquired skills in tailoring informed the chief guest that the parental love extended to them during their time at the skilling hub, enabled them to learn with ease.

“When I went back home, I sold my two goats I had and I used the money to acquire one second hand sewing machine which I’m now using to work and also teach fellow girls. They can also do something. I really appreciate the government for this free initiative,” Jane said. 

Other students who shared testimonies of hope included; Joel Wonambwa Yakuwa from Busia, Fatuma from Bunyole East in Butaleja district and Ndoboli Dauda Abubakali who called upon fellow youths to register with the district authorities such that they don’t miss out on the opportunity.

The ceremony was attended by Resident District Commissioners, LCV chairpersons, security officers, District commercial Officers, District National Resistance Movement-NRM chairpersons, LC3 Chairpersons, Youth leaders, among others.

Related Events

Presidential Initiative Empowers Youth Through Vocational Training

he initiative, lauded by Dr. Faith Katana, aims to equip youth with practical skills. Dr. Katana emphasized the importance of rehabilitation before skill training, with Mr. Mac Baingana praising its potential to reduce crime. Beneficiaries like Ssekamate Kevin and Julius Serwada shared their transformational experiences, advocating for vocational training as a pathway out of poverty.

Read More »