The Katikkiro of Buganda Charles Peter Mayiga has hailed President Museveni and his government for introducing the life-changing skilling initiative among the youth which he said is a step in the right direction in as far as fighting unemployment in Uganda is concerned.
“I’m very appreciative of this presidential initiative aimed at skilling the youth. The most important thing for anyone is to get work and you can only learn what to do when you’re still young. So, I urge the young people to come and get trained so that you may have meaningful lives especially when you’re adults,” Katikkiro Mayiga said.
The Buganda Premier made the remarks on Wednesday while launching the Presidential Skilling Industrial Hub for the greater Masaka sub region at Ndegeya Village in Bugabira Parish in Masaka.
“So, it’s an opportunity that this industrial hub has been placed here in the greater Masaka area and the young people must take advantage of it,” Katikkiro said.
The center which started operations in February this year offers free vocational training to the youth aged 18-35 drawn from the nine (9) districts that make up the greater Masaka sub region and Masaka city. The Katikkiro called upon the youth to grab this golden opportunity and get skilled.
“I always tell people that opportunity moves silently but you must have the nose to smell it, the ears to hear it, the eyes to see it and the tongue to smell it. It’s a great opportunity being spearheaded by the State House Comptroller and members of her team, skilling the youth in this part of the Kingdom of Buganda. So, I urge all the youth to come and grab this opportunity,” the Katikkiro further added.
He however cautioned those in leadership not to spoil the initiative and urged them to work together.
“Matters of development are devoid of ideological inclinations, religious beliefs and even nationalities. If you want to develop, you must be smart to grab the opportunity that comes your way,” he noted.
According to the State House Comptroller Jane Barekye, President Museveni by establishing such institutions, wants to ensure that it eliminates unemployment among the youth and change the economic statuses of people who never had a chance to attain formal education in order to transform Uganda into a middle-income economy through imparting skills such as; Tailoring, Hairdressing, Bricklaying, Carpentry and joinery, Craftsmanship, Metal Fabrication, Food processing, Bakery, and Value addition to improve the quality of various products.
She said upon completion of the training, students will obtain Level One Certificate of Uganda Vocational Qualifications, under the Directorate of Industrial Training, Ministry of Education and Sports and will have a chance to continue having access to the skilling center especially when they get income-generating opportunities.
“They can still come here, make their carpentry and welding work (beds, doors, widows) etc., and sell them anywhere without paying rent or power costs,” Ms. Barekye said.
She further noted that President Museveni started the skilling hubs with an objective to empower vulnerable ghetto youth and urban youth with skills for self-reliance and wealth creation adding that the initiative has reduced the high level of criminality especially in the Kampala area.
“Some come when they’re drug addicts, some when they don’t understand and are somehow wasted, but by the time they leave this place they’re giving life-changing testimonies. They’re happy citizens of this country and fit to serve,” She added and called upon the Katikkiro to send teams to inspect the hubs in Kampala to witness what is being done and share knowledge as Ugandans so that we can transform this country.
She said President Museveni is happy about the good working relationship between the central government and the Buganda Kingdom.
“We have to join hands if we want our country to grow by supporting such programs that governments put in place. We cannot develop if we don’t work together,” Barekye noted.
The Vice President Emeritus Edward Kiwanuka Ssekandi also hailed the skilling hubs and pledged his continued support to the skilling of Ugandans.
The National Resistance Movement (NRM) Vice Chairman for Buganda Godfrey Kiwanda Ssuubi hailed Katikkiro Charles Peter Mayiga for always opening the doors for all developmental programs from the central government.
He said the role of the Presidential skilling hubs for the youth is to cause Social Economic Transformation as one of the pillars of the NRM government which resonates well with that of Buganda Kingdom of Hard work “Okukola Obutaweera.”
“The hubs have transformed Ugandans to become job creators,” Kiwanda said.
The Resident City Commissioner (RCC) for Masaka Mr. Hudu Hussein called upon residents in greater Masaka to embrace the skilling hub that has come to offer knowledge free of charge to all youths regardless of their political affiliation.
“I want to encourage the people of Masaka to take advantage of this industrial hub and ignore naysayers,” RCC Hudu Hussein said.
The Health State Minister in Charge of Primary Health Care, Hon. Hanifa Kawooya Bangirana who is also the Mawogola West MP in Ssembabule District hailed Katikkiro Mayiga for his message of transformation especially among the youth. She also hailed his leadership for a very good working relationship with the central government.
The Minister of State for Kampala Capital City and Metropolitan Affairs, Kabuye Kyofatogabye who represented the Minister for Presidency Milly Babirye Babalanda noted that the 19 presidential skilling hubs are meant to solve the unemployment in Uganda and asked political leaders to embrace it.
Masaka Presidential Skilling hub brings the total number of industrial hubs in Uganda to 19.
The launch was graced by greater Masaka district leaders, the Director Presidential Projects/ Industrial Hubs Engineer Raymond Kamugisha, Buddu Pokino Jude Muleke, Presidential Advisor for Greater Masaka Justine Nameere, Bishop Emeritus for West Buganda Diocese Samuel Keefa Kamya Ssemakula, The commandant of the UPDF’s Masaka Armoured Brigade Brig. Gen. Deus Sande among others.