At least 65 ghetto youths from the five Divisions of Kampala were equipped with entrepreneurial skills following a three-month training course.
The youths from Kawempe, Makindye, Nakawa, Rubaga and Central Divisions on Tuesday graduated with certificates at a ceremony that was held at Makerere University. The training was fully funded by the government of Uganda through Makerere University Research and Innovation Fund (Mak-Rif)
Dr. Badru Musisi, the mastermind of the training revealed that he conceived the idea in 2020 following the political riots sparked by ghetto youths thatclaimed lives of more than 50 Ugandans.
“I studied the situation that may be these youths were misbehaving because they were unemployed, angry, unoccupied, frustrated and hungry,” he said.
This he noted followed the training he had in Germany dubbed Students training for entrepreneurial promotion. “This is an entrepreneurship programme meant for young people who are starting up businesses and my personal initiative is training people who have businesses that are not moving on well,” he added.
Dr. Musisi explained that his initiative was successful and he was able to conduct a fact finding report he used to apply for funds from the government through the Makerere University Research and Innovations Fund. “The university gave us shs300 million which we have been using”
This training commenced in February 2023 and ended this month. He highlighted that the trainees were being met once in a week for a three-hour session and they concentrated on their businesses the rest of the days.
“They were divided into groups of five and each was given a startup capital of Shs250,000. These engaged in businesses like soap making, restaurants, petroleum Jelly making among others. And we considered those who were able to read and write such that we give them knowledge and they go back on the ground and train others.” he said.
Prof. Anthony Mugagga, who represented the Vice Chancellor congratulated the youth upon their certificate award and encouraged them to utilize the knowledge they have acquired. He decried the high crime rate in the ghetto and called for a mindset change as well as behavior change reminding them that HIV still exists and is a main cause of death among the youth. “Avoid engaging in reckless sexual behavior. It is your time to change and also change your peers for a better Uganda,” Prof. Mugagga said.`
He called on the political leaders to engage the youth in patriotism training.
Hajjat Hadijah Namyalo, the National Chairman of NRM pledged support to the youths with startup tools like sawing machines, dryers, welding machines among others and asked them to act as examples to their fellow ghetto youths. She made a cash donation of Shs3 million to the ghetto businesses.
Hajjat Minsa Kabanda, Minister for Kampala and Metropolitan Areas Affairs presided over the event as the Guest of Honour and thanked Makerere University team that pioneered the initiative.
Mr. Swalik Balyejjusa, who was the leader of the ghetto in the training, testified to the skills he gained. “Before the course, I used to spend more than I earned but now, I save from the little I get.”
He asked the government to support the ghetto youths with funds such that they can expand their various businesses.