In a recent development, President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni has pledged to provide start-up capital to the beneficiaries of the Presidential Initiative on Skilling the Girl and Boy Child (PISGBC) project. During the 4th graduation ceremony held at Kololo Independence Grounds, President Museveni assured the 16,797 graduates from various cohorts between 2021 and 2023 of his commitment to support their entrepreneurial endeavors.
Initiated in 2017, the PISGBC project aims to empower disadvantaged youth in Kampala by imparting valuable skills. Since its inception, a total of 35,728 students have enrolled in the program.
President Museveni emphasized the importance of collaboration, stating that the government would provide support primarily to groups of graduates rather than individuals. He also announced plans to expand the program to include additional skill disciplines such as ceramic making and paper production.
The President’s motivation behind initiating the skilling program is to enable young people to meet essential human needs, including shelter and clothing, without relying heavily on imports. He expressed concerns about the continent’s dependence on foreign goods and urged the youth to change this trend.
President Museveni reiterated his commitment to universal education and warned against individuals who exploit the free education system by charging fees in government schools. He emphasized the government’s determination to eliminate such practices.
First Lady and Minister of Education and Sports, Maama Janet Museveni, expressed gratitude for President Museveni’s support of young people and their pursuit of improved livelihoods through skills development. She encouraged graduates to embrace digital technology to enhance their entrepreneurial prospects and maintain high moral standards.
Hajjat Minsa Kabanda, the Minister of Kampala and Metropolitan Affairs, reported a significant decrease in the crime rate in Kampala due to the positive impact of the PISGBC project on reformed youth who were previously involved in criminal activities. She also revealed that land in Kamwokya had been allocated for the skills project.
Ms. Jane Barekye, State House Comptroller, praised President Museveni’s initiative for alleviating poverty among the youth and highlighted the transparent recruitment process for the PISGBC project, which prioritizes vulnerable youth from Kampala’s five divisions.
The project has not only reduced unemployment but also promoted value addition, enabling beneficiaries to transform raw materials into finished products. It has also contributed to reducing criminality in Kampala through a combination of skills training and mindset change.
Dr. Faith Katana Mirembe, the Special Presidential Assistant on Education and Skilling and Project Head, reaffirmed the commitment to reduce imports by producing goods locally. She praised President Museveni for instilling confidence and job creation skills in the students, making them valuable contributors to their communities.
The PISGBC program provides six months of free training in various disciplines, including carpentry, tailoring, shoemaking, electronics, and bakery, among others. Graduates receive certificates from the Directorate of Industrial Training (DIT).
The program operates in nine centers across the five divisions of Kampala, including Wandegeya Market, Mutundwe, Luzira, Subway-Crested Towers, Wabigalo, Kigoowa, Butikirwa, and Kikoni.
The event was attended by prominent figures, including the Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Minister Babirye Milly Babalanda, Minister David Bahati, Minister Harriet Ntabazi, Members of Parliament, Dr. Patrick Byakatonda, Director of DIT, and many others.