KAMPALA – KCB Bank Uganda and the German Development Cooperation (GIZ), have passed out upto 575 graduates and beneficiaries of the KCB-GIZ Twekozese Programme, in a development that industry experts say would help bolster Uganda’s available skilled human capital.
The graduates from Datamine, Lugogo, and Ntinda vocational training institutes were skilled in masonry, carpentry, plumbing, welding, and electric installation.
The ceremony, held at UMA Multipurpose Hall in Kampala was graced by key among other dignitaries Dr. Patrick Byakatonda, Director of the Directorate of Industrial Training, Constant Othieno Mayende, KCB Uganda Board Chairman, James Macbeth GIZ Country Director and KCB Bank Uganda Managing Director, Edgar Byamah. Others were E4D Team Leader, Donald Agaba, GIZ representatives, the private sector, and other stakeholders who have been involved in the program.
“We are delighted to have partnered with GIZ to start the programme to empower the youth in Uganda with practical skills for employment and entrepreneurship. We believe that the skills and knowledge they have gained will enable them to make a positive impact in their communities and contribute to the growth of the Ugandan economy and transform their lives,” said Mr. Byamah.
The Twekozese program under KCB Foundation seeks to create self-employment and establish enterprises among unskilled and semi-skilled youth in Uganda. The programme focuses on growing youth micro-businesses in the informal sector and bring them to a place where they can employ at least five other young people with the aim of creating 250,000 jobs over five years. It is expected to further support the government agenda of solving youth unemployment in Uganda as well as promoting the Sustainable Development Goals on Gender Equality & Decent work and economic growth.
The KCB-GIZ programme was launched in July 2021 when KCB Bank through KCB Foundation and the German International Cooperation (GIZ) joined forces to increase the employability and income generation of youth in the construction sector. Both partners committed a combined Ugx. 6 billion (EUR 1,572,419) towards the Employment and Skills for Development in Africa (E4D) Programme that was commissioned by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), co-funded by the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (Norad) and is implemented by GIZ to make the KCB-GIZ Twekozese programme a reality and give Ugandan youth an opportunity to better their lives.
As a result, 2,165 youth enrolled in the programme and were upskilled in 3 Cohorts administered by 13 vocational training institutions across Uganda. Of the 2,165 beneficiaries, 32% are female and 5% are people living with disabilities.
GIZ E4D Uganda team leader, Mr. Donald Agaba, noted that this partnership seeks to promote employment by improving the skillset of youth working in the construction sector, in addition to providing them with toolkits to start their own businesses. “This project is part of an integrated approach working on both the supply and demand sides of the labour market, through skills and enterprise development. On enterprise development, E4D works to boost the competitiveness and growth of small and medium-sized businesses so they can enter lucrative supply and value chains and employ more youth along the way. On skills development, E4D works to bring the local workforce with demand-driven and up-to-date skills. Ultimately, our goal is to promote the creation of more decent and sustainable jobs and improve the employment situation in Uganda,” he added.
GIZ Country Director, Mr James Macbeth stated that under the private sector cooperation portfolio, GIZ engages in partnerships with the private sector in Uganda to foster innovation, close skill gaps in the labor market, and promote inclusive business models, among others. Further, he added, “We have for example through the E4D programme partnered KCB Bank to contribute towards reducing the skills gap in Uganda’s construction sector through demand-oriented and practical technical and vocational skills training”.
Chief guest Dr. Patrick Byakatonda, Director of the Directorate of Industrial Training commended KCB Bank and GIZ for training the youth with hands-on skills and preparing them for the job market.
“The Government of Uganda will continue to support such initiatives because they will lead to the social-economic transformation of our country.”
“I commend KCB Bank Uganda and GIZ for taking on and accomplishing this project that commenced in 2021. Your commitment to bettering the lives of Ugandans has been evidenced today with the graduation of the beneficiaries here today. I hope we can continue to have events such as these in the future,” he added.