President Yoweri Museveni has implored the youth to acquire entrepreneurial skills for job opportunities in commercial agriculture, industries, services, and information & communication technology (ICT) sectors.
Museveni said skills development targeting any of the four sectors is the only way to go regarding wealth and job creation for the economic empowerment of the youth and other Ugandans.
“These are the sectors the National Resistance Movement (NRM) is putting emphasis on to get Ugandans out of poverty. There is no other address you can use to fight poverty,” Museveni said.
The President made the remarks on Saturday at the Wakiso district headquarters during the passing out of thousands of youth that received hands-on training in tailoring, hairdressing, bakery, decorations, briquette making, paper bag making knitting, candle making and agribusiness.
During the event, graduands were awarded certificates courtesy of the Seninde Foundation.
Jobs in Uganda
Rosemary Seninde, the founder of the Seninde Foundation and state minister of primary education, said 80% of the 30,000 youth that had completed their courses had started working.
“Some of them started working even before graduation. So, instead of sending our young girls and boys to the Arab world, where they die from, let us empower them through skills development because there are jobs here in Uganda which they can do and survive,” Seninde said.
She said there were 30,000 graduands, but there were over 10 100-seater tents at the venue. Before graduation, the graduands were assessed by the Directorate of Industrial Training to test their skills. Museveni commended Seninde for what he described as implementing the NRM manifesto.
He said the foundation has started a practical skills development center, which addresses challenges, like unemployment, which affects Ugandans.
Uganda waking up
Museveni said what Seninde, other Members of Parliament and State House comptroller Lucy Nakyobe were doing, was a sign that Uganda was finally waking up to serve the people and teach them how to amass wealth.
He added that what Seninde is implementing was part of the fifth NRM 10-point programme of creating small industries as per the 1996 Movement manifesto.
“If you are sick, you ask for directions to the hospital. NRM has also given you a direction on how to eliminate poverty. You must be able to participate in one of the four sectors. Here, you have been taught to create small industries and do services,” he said.
Museveni added that since 1996, the NRM manifesto has been keen on wealth and job creation through commercial agriculture, industries, services and ICT sectors. He urged Ugandans to acquire skills through initiatives like the Presidential Initiative on Skilling the Girl Child and the Seninde Foundation, to be able to tap into opportunities under the four sectors, especially the services sector, where the skills development programme falls.
Museveni said with skills development, Ugandans can start small-scale industries for manufacturing clothes and shoes, the majority of which are imported from China.
“With these products, we can dress in our country. People like the Chinese have been dressing us for a long time. If we produced these products locally, we could employ our people and also retain the money which we spend on these imports,” Museveni said.
Impressed by the work of the Seninde Foundation, Museveni offered sh100m towards the foundation, to facilitate its operations. So far, Seninde said, the foundation has graduated 60,000 people that acquired skills in different fields. The students are drawn from different sub-counties in Wakiso district.