New Vision (Kampala)

Uganda: Labour Ministry Faulted On Youth Entrepreneurship Training

The ministry of Gender and Labour has not adequately executed its mandate of effecting youth entrepreneurship training, despite the budgetary support it gets from government, a senior official has noted.

State minister for Microfinance Aston Kajara revealed that the biggest support the ministry got was the sh3b part of the 2010-2011 national budget; the money was partly meant for training the youth in different spheres of business management as a way of combating unemployment.

"We expected the money to cause a significant impact in the lives of the youth, but to our dismay, the ministry never did the needful and this was detrimental to our effort towards creating a productive population," he said.

State minister for Microfinance Aston Kajara talks to Charles Ocici, the Enterprise Uganda executive director

Kajara was closing a five day youth entrepreneurship course at Luzira during which 600 people were trained in Business and Enterprise Start-up Tool techniques, a program jointly supported by the Warid Entrepreneurship Fund and Enterprise Uganda.

The minister also blamed members of parliament for frustrating the original plan of channeling the said funds through Enterprise Uganda, an agency equipped with expertise in business training.

"This money was originally supposed to be channeled through Enterprise Uganda, but members of parliament decided that it goes through the ministry of gender, yet Enterprise Uganda is also an agency whose establishment had a government hand and trust," he said.

Enterprise Uganda was initiated early 2001 as a joint undertaking between the Government of Uganda, United Nations Development Programe (UNDP), United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) with the latter as implementing agency.

The Enterprise Uganda executive director Charles Ocici noted that government must consider entrepreneurship development among the young people as one of the cardinal avenues of fighting the current souring unemployment dilemma affecting the illiterate and the educated.

On average 500,000 youths graduate from Universities in Uganda every year, yet 20% on average are absorbed into formal employment.

The Warid fund which will train 2,000 people a year in a program that will further identify, train, provide starting capital and mentor trainees through their formative years, according to Shailendra Naidu, the company Chief Commercial Officer.

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