Excitement is growing in Gulu as innovative and creative youths excel in various income-generating activities such as soap making, shampoo production, liquid soap, Jik (bleach), petroleum jelly, shoe polish, cake baking, chocolate making, and other essential products. The Deputy RDC of Gulu, James Cosmas Okidi, stated that these youths are no longer job seekers but job creators.
These youths have undergone vocational skills training with support from USAID as part of their income-generating activities (IGAs). On Tuesday, October 24, 2023, they had the opportunity to interact with Deputy RDC Okidi during his visit to their premises known as “Calvary Chemical Merchandise” in Vanguard.
During the interaction, Deputy RDC Okidi shared several key takeaways from the responsible and organized youth. He highlighted that these businesses now employ more than 20 young individuals, both males and females, addressing the prevalent issue of youth unemployment.
However, these aspiring entrepreneurs face certain challenges, including the need for better machinery to scale up production, initial capital, and the bureaucratic hurdles, including clearance from URA (Uganda Revenue Authority).
In response to these challenges, the Deputy Resident District Commissioner (DRDC) of Gulu encouraged the youths to take advantage of government programs such as Emyooga, Youth Livelihood Programs (YLP), and PDM to enhance their productivity and status. He also advised them to avoid borrowing from high-interest money lenders.
Deputy RDC Okidi appealed for support from well-wishers, recognizing the potential for these initiatives to provide valuable employment opportunities for the youth.
Deputy RDC Okidi emphasized that, apart from their current ventures, they are also providing training to young individuals, equipping them with the skills and knowledge needed to become job creators rather than job seekers in the near future.
“As a government, we recognize that vocational education and training are essential to addressing the economic challenges facing Ugandan young people,” stated DRDC Cosmas James.
He added, “I encourage the young people in the community to join skills training for a stable source of income.”
The Government of Uganda, under the visionary leadership of His Excellency General Yoweri Museveni Kaguta, has established numerous vocational institutions across the country and constructed 18 Presidential Industrial Hubs, known as Presidential Youth Skilling Centers, in all 18 regions. These centers provide free education and training opportunities for the youth.