Following the rampant unemployment problem amidst the Youth in the Country, the Government of Uganda through the Office of the President in 2017 pushed for skilling of the Girl child through the Presidential Initiative on Skilling the Girl Child project.
Being the most vulnerable sexual minority, challenges faced by the girl child are anonymously deterring factors towards their Education completion. In the past decades, Educating the Girl child was considered less as they were specifically taken as marriage materials and parents only looked at acquiring dowery among other gifts in exchange for their daughters and thus, Boys were considered most towards the Education achievement as they were perceived to easily get back home and take care of their siblings, aged parents and other relatives vis-a-vis girls that eventually ended up in marriage. Gradually, the forces of economic development coupled with women emancipation and empowerment have awaken countries, religion, cultures among other traditions that skilling the girl child is key for economic developments worldwide.
To curb down challenges that affect the Education of the girl child in Uganda, the President of the Republic of Uganda His Excellency President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, together with state house comptroller, Ms Lucy Nakyobe Mbonye started up the Presidential Initiative on Skilling the Girl Child project which received overwhelming intake numbers during the 2018/19 registration and these attained their Certificates during the 3rd and 4th Graduation Ceremony held at Kololo Independence Grounds on Sunday, September 08th 2019.
Course Units pursued by over 8,480 Graduands included; Hair dressing, Bakery, Shoemaking, Weaving, Knitting and Tailoring from the different training centres across Kampala.
While addressing graduands and parents, H.E Yoweri Kaguta Museveni remarked that; ‘’Africa as a whole has been lagging behind deep asleep because of the ignorance problem and thus we identified the need to spear head education and hands on skills that’s why am celebrating this milestone with my Bazukulu today, Economies all over the world have developed because of skilling their nationals with hands on skills, one reason why we are always busy giving them our money in exchange for goods yet the same goods can be made here, bought here and retain our money here instead of making other economies like Japan, China, Europe among others where we import from richer and richer yet we are a poor country.
He added that; ‘’While we look forward to attaining the middle class status, we have to skill our biggest and most energetic population who are the youth, the challenges that deter them from continuing to University shouldn’t deter them from prospering individually here, with the skills attained at the training centres, they will be able to make the best use of them to offer services to the people of Uganda as they solve society problems while earn, grow richer and enjoy their country together with the peace and stability’’.
He further revealed that this project has not only benefitted the Girl child but also the different women groups including SFC Spouses, local community women and also the boys are starting to benefit from the programme as they have enrolled at the different training centres for course units like Motor Vehicle mechanics, Brick laying, Construction, Carpentry, Painting among others.
This project is going to be national wide for all youths to benefit across the different Uganda districts communities.
Curbing down on the Unemployment Problem
Unemployment has visibly been a big challenge towards increasing numbers of the youth in Uganda. According to the latest `State of Uganda Population Report 2018’, released by the National Population Council in November 2018, Uganda has about 19 million people of working age out of a total population of 41 million people.
Up to 15 million of those are working but only 9 million can be said to be employed, meaning they are paid for their work. Of these, 3 million are in towns and 6 million are in rural areas. Up to 56% are male and 40% are female. Up to 1.2 million are idle; meaning they are not in school, working, or in training.
As a result, Uganda has an unemployment rate of 9.2%. It is highest in urban areas at 14% compared to 6% in rural areas. The highest unemployment rate, 16.8% is among young people aged between 15-24 years old and youth, 18-30 year olds at 13.3%. Overall, the youth (aged 18 – 30) comprise about 21% of the population (about 8.2 million people), with majority (56%) being female.
The Government of Uganda under – the Presidential Initiative on skilling the Girl Child Initiatives among many more programmes will help tackle the growing unemployment problem.
By Our Reporter