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Gov't To Double Youth Enrolment In Presidential Industrial Hubs :: Uganda Radionetwork
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Gov't To Double Youth Enrolment In Presidential Industrial Hubs

Okello notes that the region witnessed a two-decade-long Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) rebel insurgency that affected many families, leaving them unable to educate their children.
Eng. Raymond Kamugisha, the Director of Presidential Projects and Industrial Hubs speaking at a stakeholders meeting in Gulu District on Wednesday.

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The government will double the enrolment of youth for skills training in all Presidential industrial hubs across the country next year. The move follows requests from leaders, especially in the Acholi Sub-region who are demanding an increment in the number of youth selected per district for the skills training.

A total of 19 regional Industrial hubs have been constructed by the government across the country Under the Presidential Initiative to skill youth into the money economy. Under this initiative, the government allocated each district 24 slots for youths to benefit from three months of skills training in various vocational disciplines.

Omoro LCV Chairperson, Douglas Peter Okello notes that while the Presidential initiative has greatly helped to skill the youth in the region, the numbers of beneficiaries are few. Okello notes that the region witnessed a two-decade-long Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) rebel insurgency that affected many families, leaving them unable to educate their children.

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Responding to the requests, Eng. Raymond Kamugisha, the Director of Presidential Projects and Industrial Hubs noted on Wednesday that the current slots will be doubled for beneficiaries since the initiative has been embraced. According to Kamugisha, the government will start enrolling up to 50 youth from each district in the fourth intake in March next year.

He however says the increment will be a gradual process given the current capacity of the hubs which can only take up to 600 students per intake from the region. Kamugisha was speaking on the sidelines of a stakeholders meeting at the Acholi Zonal Presidential Industrial Hub in Unyama Sub-county, Gulu District on Wednesday during a review of the initiative in the Acholi Sub-region.

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Kamugisha also notes that the government through the Directorate of Industrial Training under the Ministry of Education and Sports will introduce two new courses in weaving and knitting and shoe-making for students at the industrial hubs. 

Currently, the students are undertaking six courses in welding and metal fabrication, bakery and confectionery, hairdressing, building and concrete practice, tailoring and garment cutting, carpentry, and joinery. Youth leaders from the region have however expressed disappointment for being sidelined from the selection processes of the youth to be enrolled for the skills training.

Simon Oketta Kilama, the Amuru District Youth Chairperson says he didn’t take part in the selection of youth from his area for the last two intakes and wondered why was left out. According to the selection guideline, benefiting youth in every district are selected and vetted by a ten-member committee comprising Youth Chairpersons, women council chairpersons, commercial officers, District Internal Security Officers (DISO), Chief Administrative Officers, Resident District Commissioners, and LCV Chairpersons among others.

Kilama says while the youth chairpersons are principal signatories in the selection processes, he wasn’t given the chance to take part in the selection process and called on the government to intervene. Denis Odoch, the Youth Chairperson of Gulu City equally reiterates that for all the two intakes in which youth were selected for training, he was never involved. 

He says sidelining youth leaders in the process of selecting beneficiaries for a program meant to uplift youth to the money economy is unfair and underscores equality in leadership.

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Kamugisha however noted that while the youth leaders in the region have raised a genuine concern, they weren’t aware of their roles in the selection of the beneficiaries. “We have emphasized that the Chairperson youth and DISO are key plus other committee members to select their beneficiaries. It's them that hadn’t taken up their roles but now they have been empowered with information that they have a responsibility to do,” Says Kemigisha.

A total of 457 youth from the Acholi Sub-region have so far graduated from the Acholi Zonal Presidential hub since last year when the industrial hub took in its first batch of learners.

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