The Albertine region Bursary scheme has been launched. The scheme will give an opportunity to 600 youths from 13 districts to acquire knowledge and skills that will enable them compete favorably in the oil and Gas sector.
Beneficiaries will be drawn from Hoima, Masindi, Buliisa, Kabarole, Kyenjojo and Kakumiro district. Other districts include Nebbi, Nwoya, Ntoroko, Masindi, Kiryandongo, Kibaale and Bunyangabu.
Unveiling the scheme at the Hoima Booma grounds in Kahoora division Hoima Municipality, last evening, President Yoweri Museveni said that the government has embarked on projects that are aimed at skilling and equipping the youth with the necessary knowledge that is crucial in the Oil and Gas sector.
Museveni says the training will enhance the students' knowledge and skills in order to meet the demands of the Oil discovery as well as ensuring adherence to the highest standards of quality, health, safety and environment.
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Janet Museveni, the Education and Sports Minister urged all leaders to ensure that youth in the region benefit from the bursary. She also said that priority should be given to girls within the region to benefit from the scheme.
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James Kakooza, the Permanent Secretary Ministry of Education and Sports explained that the scheme is aimed at addressing community content within the Albertine region through improving access to relevant skills training programme.
He says the competency-based training and accreditation in the bursary scheme will target immediate required skills so that the people who train can immediately get employment.
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Diana Bagarukayo, a representative of the World Bank, says they are ready to finance more projects that are aimed at skilling Ugandans to get ready to work in the oil and gas sector.
She says such skills will help Ugandans to be productive and get jobs and to create employment.
Kiungi Kadir, the Hoima LC5 Chairperson challenged the government to ensure that local leaders are involved in the selection of the beneficiaries. He says if the selection is only left to the Ministry of Education, most students are likely to miss out on the bursary.
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Kadir further tasked the President to find immediate solutions to the increasing attacks on Ugandan fishermen by suspected Congolese Militia on Lake Albert.
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In 2014, the government obtained a loan of 106.5 Billion Shillings from the World Bank, part of which would be used to fund the scholarship.
The courses will be taught at Uganda Technical College, Kichwamba and Uganda Petroleum Institute, Kigumba (UPIK).
Through Uganda counterpart funding, the project is expected to support the learners from the region to undergo six months to one and half year skills training in the leading institutes of construction, agro-processing, tourism, Motor Vehicle mechanics, welding and metal fabrication, Plumbing and pipe fitting and nursing among others in the country.