President Yoweri Museveni’s Zonal Industrial Hub Initiative has transformed the lives of former cattle rustlers in Karamoja sub-region.
The initiative has done this through equipping the former Karamojong warriors with skills that they could use to engage in productive activities.
This was testified during the graduation ceremony of the first batch of graduates at the Karamoja Zonal Industrial Hub in Abbattoir village, Lokiteded sub county in Napak district on Friday 6th January 2023.
Addressing the audience, the State House Comptroller Ms. Jane Barekye thanked President Museveni for initiating a wonderful project that has even seen former cattle rustlers getting skilled to better their livelihoods through legal means.
The Comptroller further encouraged other former warriors to join the initiative so that they could be part of Uganda’s socio-economic transformation agenda.
“Thank you for allowing to be transformed into good citizens. Now you are going to serve your families and the whole country and for the stakeholders, don’t discriminate former warriors, recruit them into the skilling initiative so that they could get involved in productive and money generating activities,” Ms. Barekye advised.
“The vision for the President is to equip youths with skills, go and get jobs. He is tired of seeing people with degrees loitering on the streets without jobs. We decided to get everybody from all walks of life, train you so that you can use your hands to create jobs and make this economy very proud.”
She also handed over Level I Certificates from the Directorate of Industrial Training (DIT) to the successful beneficiaries.
As a sign of appreciation to the President, the Kotido District LC V chairperson, Mr. Lotee Paul Komol dressed Ms. Barekye (who represented Gen. Museveni) in Karamojong culture attire, handed her a spear and a chair.
Eng. Raymond Kamugisha, the Director Presidential Projects and Industrial Hubs at State House said with such skilling initiatives in place, Uganda shall even surpass the Middle Income Status in a few years to come.
“I would like to thank God who enabled our President with such wisdom to think of the very many ways that can turn our country into a first world country. I can tell you with this intervention, it’s just a matter of time that Uganda is going to change and we shall even surpass the middle income status in a few years to come. So let us thank the President, Madam Comptroller who fund all these activities and for entrusting us with this responsibility to make sure that we man this role,” said Eng. Kamugisha, the immediate supervisor of all zonal Industrial hubs in the country.
“Training one person in this hub for six months costs government atleast Shs4 million. So, you can see such a huge investment government has done to make sure that it transforms these people,” he added.
Mr. Charles Lotiang, the Manager of Karamoja Zonal Industrial Hub informed the guest of honor, Ms. Barekye that they admitted 182 students from 11 administrative units namely; Moroto district, Napak districts, Nakapiripirit district, Nabilatuk district, Amudat district, Kotido district, Abim district, Kaabong district, Karenga district, Moroto and Kotido Municipalities.
Mr. Lotiang revealed that each unit was given 20 slots; five of those students dropped out due to chronic diseases and pregnancy complications and they were left with 177 students who underwent a five months free training starting 10th August 2022 to Friday, 22nd December 2022.
He further narrated that among the beneficiaries were the former Karamojong warriors who were good at committing crimes in the sub-region before joining the hub for skilling.
“Among the beneficiaries, there were some former cattle rustlers whom everybody feared but due to the mindset course encompassed with skilling course, these people have been transformed and now we have disciplined and employable citizens,” Mr. Lotiang said.
The Manager also thanked President Museveni for his visionary leadership that enabled him to skill the youth through Zonal Industrial Hubs.
“This is the best way of bringing the youth into money economy hence socio-economic transformation of Karamoja region and the whole nation,” Lotiang asserted.
He went ahead to thank Ms. Barekye and Eng Kamugisha for entrusting them with the responsibility of training the students in the subregion.
The beneficiaries were skilled in different vocational disciplines such as Tailoring, carpentry, welding and hairdressing.
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