Tooro Kingdom Hails President Museveni’s Vocational Skills Initiative

The program, spanning 19 regional hubs across Uganda, aims to empower youths in various vocational disciplines, benefitting districts including Bunyangabu, Kyegegwa, Kyenjojo, Kitagwenda, Kamwenge, and Kabarole.

The Omukama of Tooro Kingdom, His Royal Highness, Oyo Nyimba Kabamba Iguru Rukidi IV, has praised President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni for equipping adolescents with valuable vocational skills.

He stated that the President’s proposal will allow 78% of Uganda’s young population under the age of 30 to participate in the money economy.

“I want to thank H.E the President of the Republic of Uganda for establishing Industrial Hubs across the country to skill the youths in different trades,” he said.

King Oyo’s statements were made in a speech delivered on Tuesday, April 23, 2024, at the graduation ceremony for 489 youngsters who completed vocational training at the Tooro Presidential Industrial Hub in Kijwiiga, Kyenjojo district.

His address was presented by Mr. Kwemara Ngabu William, Tooro’s Deputy Prime Minister in Charge of Finance and Administration.

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

Students from the districts of Bunyangabu, Kyegegwa, Kyenjojo, Kitagwenda, Kamwenge, and Kabarole received certificates in seven (7) vocational disciplines, including tailoring and design, hairdressing and makeup, building and construction practice, carpentry and joinery, welding and metal fabrications, bakery and confectionery, and leather processing (shoe making).

King Oyo noted that when formal education was introduced in Uganda, the goal was to create a force of white-collar workers to support the protectorate administration, and that there is still a widespread and incorrect belief in Uganda that education is intended to prepare people for lifelong white-collar formal sector employment with a pension upon retirement.

“Inevitably, we must now focus on technical and vocational education, as well as self-employment. Attitudes regarding work should shift, as should the myth that education adds greatly to employment, that jobs exist, and that people should be able to find job opportunities. We need to reconsider the concepts of employment and employability. Employment should also include self-employment,” Omukama emphasized, noting that lifetime jobs are becoming increasingly rare as businesses prefer short-term performance-based contracts, even avoiding pensions to save money.

He committed on behalf of the kingdom to support all efforts to enhance the lives of young people, as well as to contribute to the President’s efforts to skill them.

“We have a youngsters Skilling Centre, which we are replicating in all of our counties; an ICT centre to train youngsters in ICT skills and Artificial Intelligence; and model farms for demonstration and experience learning. One of the foundations of the Kingdom Vision 2045 is skill development and job creation for young people. Despite the foregoing, I have asked my ministers and saza chiefs to mobilize all Tooro kingdom subjects to take advantage of the Industrial Hubs’ training opportunities wherever they may be,” King Oyo stated.

The Omukama also urged the Ministry of Education and Sports to ensure that Universities and Other Tertiary Institutions strengthen Vocational and Technical Education routes for people who wish to build on what they have learned in skilling hubs.

The Directorate of Industrial Training (DIT) gave students the Uganda Vocational Qualifications Level One Certificate at the ceremony, which is comparable to the Uganda Certificate of Education level, according to the Directorate’s Senior Qualifications Officer, Mr. Wanakina Fred.

“This is an occupational certificate that will help you get a job, not a course.” Do not stop here; keep practicing. Look for a job as a volunteer, and your talents will show that you know what you’re doing,” Mr. Wanakina advised.

Ms. Cynthia Kamasaka, the Hub Manager, informed the guests that the training centre accepts 40 students from each district in the Tooro region, with the assistance of district committees. She described the skilling program as one of the most successful.

“I’d want to thank the President for his thoughtfulness. This is one of the government’s most effective initiatives, providing practical skills in six months and dispatching them when they are ready for the labor market. Ms. Kamasaka added that, in addition to skills, the UPDF is spearheading mentality development and ideology.

Ms. Ayesiga Julian, the Resident District Commissioner of Kyenjojo, praised President Museveni for emphasizing the Tooro region with three skilling hubs.

“I also want to thank the parents for giving us obedient youngsters. Return to the field and maintain your previous level of performance. I wish you success wherever you work and ask that you do everything possible to promote the President and the NRM government,” the RDC stated.

Ms. Monica Karungi, the Resident District Commissioner for Kyegegwa, praised President Museveni’s parental compassion for underprivileged children.

“We applaud His Excellency the President for establishing this hub to train young people, particularly girls, so that they may accomplish things for themselves and become empowered. During our tour, we saw really unique work done by our youngsters, and I’d want to congratulate the teachers for instructing them,” Ms. Karungi stated.

Mr. Anthony Namara, Commissioner of Local Economic Development at the Ministry of Local Government, congratulated the graduates on their successful completion of the 6-month course, calling it as a vital step toward propelling themselves into the realm of economic prosperity.

“I must convey our heartfelt gratitude to His Excellency the President for his continuous dedication to empowering our nation’s young and women. His vision for economic transformation resonates in programs like this, and we are grateful for the funds provided through the State House Comptroller to make this initiative possible,” Mr. Namara said. He added that the Ministry of Local Government, in collaboration with other stakeholders, will continue to provide post-skilling support and follow-up to ensure their success in the money economy through initiatives like Local Economic Development and Investment Committee.

Students offered testimonials and thanked President Museveni for the opportunity.

Kemirembe Faridah from Kyegegwa, who is qualified in carpentry and joinery, commended President Museveni for the fantastic program for young people.

“When I went looking for work, they felt I lacked abilities, but when I was granted an interview, I wowed them, and they hired me. Ms. Faridah urged her fellow adolescents to support their friends who are lingering on the streets.

Murungi Kenneth from Kabarole has a tailoring qualification. He informed the visitors that after working for a few months, he was able to purchase his own sewing machine, which he installed at home to launch his own business, and that he is doing well.

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