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Busoga Appreciates H.E Museveni’s Skilling Initiative as Hon. Kadaga Passes Out 456 Graduates

The First Deputy Prime Minister and also the Minister in charge of East African Affairs, Rt. Hon. Rebbecca Alitwala Kadaga has called upon the people in Busoga to embrace the presidential skilling hubs that are aimed at solving the unemployment problem in Busoga and the entire country.

She made the remarks at Busoga Zonal Presidential Industrial hub located in Jinja while passing out 456 youths after skilling in vocational skills.

“I want to thank His Excellency the President for this life-changing initiative of skilling our youths who are now job creators. I also thank the State House for steering these hubs so well to ensure that the vision of the President is achieved,” Hon. Kadaga said.

The former speaker of Parliament who is also the Woman Member of Parliament for Kamuli congratulated the graduates and pledged her support together with that of fellow members of Parliament in Busoga to support all proposals by the State House Comptroller and her team that were in line to further the President’s skilling program.

First Deputy Prime Minister Rebecca Kadaga admires some of the carpentry products made by the youths at Busoga Zonal Hub in Jinja on Wednesday. PPU Photo

“I congratulate all our graduates and thank you for completing the course. Now that you are skilled, I don’t want to hear you just playing cards in the villages. You need to be different by doing something for income like some of your colleagues who have testified here,” Minister Kadaga said.

The trainees from eleven districts that include; Kamuli, Iganga, Bugiri, Mayuge, Jinja, Luuka, Bugweri, Buyende, Kaliro, Namutumba and Namayingo completed their vocational training and were awarded certificates in seven (7) disciplines namely; Bakery & Confectionery, Tailoring and design, Hairdressing and make up, Building and Concrete Practice and Carpentry & Joinery, Welding and Metal fabrications and Leather processing (shoe making).

Minister Kadaga was happy to hear girls were taking interest in male dominated courses like welding and metal fabrications, building and construction and carpentry. This also applied to the male gender who acquired skills in tailoring and design, bakery and confectionery and hair dressing and make up which were predominantly for ladies.

First Deputy Prime Minister Rebecca Kadaga admires some of the welding products made by the youths at Busoga Zonal Hub in Jinja on Wednesday. PPU Photo

“I call upon you to come together, form groups and work together. If for example a tailor, a baker and a hairdresser came together, they can form a bridal company where a tailor will make wedding gowns, a baker will make wedding cakes and a hairdresser will provide salon services,” Hon Kadaga advised, adding that the same applies to welders, carpenters and builders who may also come together and form a complete building and construction company.

“I’m impressed by the work of this skilling program and from what I have seen around, we don’t need to import hospital beds. They are here. I therefore want to ask the government to continue supporting these youths by marketing their output and encouraging them to do more,” the Kamuli Woman MP added.

She promised to support the skilled youths in Busoga with at least 15 sewing machines per district and to provide a workspace for the skilled youths to operate from.

On the other hand, the Minister for Presidency Babirye Milly Babalanda noted that the skilling program has come at the right time when the region (Busoga) has been grappling with the high rates of youth unemployment perpetrated by the high school dropouts.

First Deputy Prime Minister Rebecca Kadaga (C) and Minister for Presidency Milly Babalanda pose for a photo with some of the youths and parents during the graduation ceremony for youths at Busoga Zonal Hub

“Here in Busoga, we had a challenge of high school dropouts and many had resorted to working in sugar plantations but the President thought it wise to begin these industrial skilling hubs and today we are seeing the fruits of his vision. We have to thank H.E Gen Yoweri Kaguta Museveni and support him to continue his dream,” Minister Babalanda said, adding that the President spends over 4 million shillings on each student in terms of feeding, accommodation and training for the 6 months they spend in the skilling hub not only in Busoga but in the 19 hubs across the country.

“Let me also use this opportunity to thank the State House Comptroller and her team for overseeing this project so well. It is true the funds are insufficient but as Minister for Presidency, I cannot do this alone but with your support, Mama Kadaga and other members of Parliament; so that many more youths can benefit from this program,” Hon. Babalanda informed the chief guest.

She further called upon parents to support their children to achieve their dreams.

“The government under the visionary leadership of H.E the President has done its part. As parents, let’s also do our part by providing what we can to support these youths. Don’t put a lot of demands on them because they are just starting in life. And all of us are called upon to continue supporting the President so that he continues with his vision of ensuring that all Ugandans are skilled. This is how we are going to reach and thrive in the middle-income status,” Minister Babalanda added.

First Deputy Prime Minister Rebecca Kadaga admires some of the garments made by the youths tailors at Busoga Zonal Hub in Jinja on Wednesday. PPU Photo

Speaking at the event, the Director Presidential Projects and Industrial Hubs at State House, Eng. Raymond Kamugisha informed the chief guest that the President saw it wise to start Presidential hubs after his countrywide assessment that Ugandans were poor partly because they lacked what to do and many of those working were actually working only for the stomach.

“We are glad that his dream of skilling the youths with employable skills has come to pass. We have 19 hubs across the country and together with the state house Comptroller we have traversed this country passing out hundreds of youths who have now become job creators rather than job seekers. Busoga regional hub is the last not because you’re less important, but we decided to save the best for the last,” Eng. Raymond said.

He further informed the chief guest and the graduates that the Engineering Brigade of the Uganda Peoples Defense Forces (UPDF) has offered to employ all the skilled youths in building and construction, welding and metal fabrication and carpenters.

First Deputy Prime Minister Rebecca Kadaga admires some of the carpentry products made by the youths at Busoga Zonal Hub in Jinja on Wednesday. PPU Photo

“I assure you that you will not earn below UGX 500,000. So, the journey has just started. Work hard with discipline and the sky will be the limit. Also, wherever you go in your homes, remember His Excellency the President for giving you this opportunity. With these opportunities, how can anyone stand against President Museveni?” Eng. Raymond assured graduates.

Mr. Kamugisha thanked the patriotic team of state House staff led by the State House Comptroller with whom they have traversed the whole country passing out skilled graduates and the district committees for spearheading the selection process of beneficiaries.

To date, a total of 8,992 youths between 18-35 years have been skilled and graduated from the 19 Presidential skilling hubs across the country that include; Soroti-Teso (469), Napak-Karamoja (423), Lira-Lango (478), Madi-Adjumani (450), Acholi-Gulu (584), Zombo-West Nile (473), Kyenjojo-Tooro (489), Greater Mubende (448), Bundibugyo-Rwenzori (479), Kasese-Rwenzori (466), Kabale-Kigezi (462), Mbarara-Greater Ankore (507), Greater Masaka (447), Kayunga (462), Kibuku-Bukedi (477), Kwen-Sebei (456), Mbale-Bugisu (482), Masindi-Bunyoro (454) and Jinja-Busoga (456).

First Deputy Prime Minister Rebecca Kadaga admires some of the confectionery products baked by the youths at Busoga Zonal Hub in Jinja on Wednesday. PPU Photo

The Member of Parliament for Kagoma North County Hon. Brandon Kintu who is also the Spokesperson of the NRM caucus assured the chief guest of the support by fellow members of parliament towards the skilling hubs.

The Chairperson Hub Zonal Management Committee who is also the LC 5 Chairman for Iganga Ezra Gabula appreciated President Museveni for implementing the skilling component under the NRM Manifesto which is key in fighting unemployment among the youths.

“I read somewhere that the president is going to establish common user facilities in regional commercial districts with machines to enable our graduates to work in groups and earn some money. If that program can be implemented, we shall be grateful. In Busoga we say, “the one who gives you, you give back,” Chairman Ezra Gabula said.

Mr. Gabula however asked the government to construct more accommodation facilities at the skilling hub and also increase the enrollment numbers from the current 16 students per district to cater for the increasing need for vocational skills especially among the uneducated youths.

Some of the youths from Busoga region express their excitement as they graduated in different skilling programmes at the Jinja based Busoga Zonal Hub on Wednesday. PPU Photo

Each learner was awarded with a Uganda Vocational Qualifications Level One Certificate of the Directorate of industrial training (DIT) Ministry of Education and Sports which is equivalent to the Uganda certificate of education level and internationally recognized in the world of work and recognized in Uganda’s education system by law.

The Deputy Director Assessment and Certification, DIT Dr. Micheal Okumu, reminded the People of Busoga that Jinja and the region has been a hub of industrialization in Uganda, a reason Jinja Vocational Institute was established 42 years ago to skill the workers in the industries.

“In 2012, the Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) strategic plan was launched in Jinja in line with the NRM Manifesto aimed at skilling all Ugandans and also training in production and innovations. Many other Ugandans have been trained here in Hotel, Tourism and Hospitality and today, we are witnessing another milestone of the skilling program. We are really so grateful to the fountain of honor H.E the president of the Republic of Uganda for his vision,” Dr. Okumu said.

First Deputy Prime Minister Rebecca Kadaga inspects some of the leather products made by the youths at Busoga Zonal Hub in Jinja on Wednesday. PPU Photo

He informed the chief guest that the mandate of DIT is developing standards for training and that’s what they have been doing for these hubs, working with the State House to streamline the training curriculum.

At the same ceremony, students who included Mukisa Sarah from Kamuli district and Owino Daniel Okeya from Namayingo who completed the course six months ago gave successful testimonies of how their lives have changed after joining the money economy.

The ceremony was attended by the former State Minister for Trade, Eng. Nelson Wambuzi Gagawala, officials from Busoga Kingdom, Resident District Commissioners, LC 5 Chairpersons from the region, District Commercial Officers and District National Resistance Movement – NRM Chairpersons.

Some of the youths from Busoga region express their excitement as they graduated in different skilling programmes at the Jinja based Busoga Zonal Hub on Wednesday. PPU Photo
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