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Sh44b youth job scheme launched

By Vision Reporter

Added 20th June 2011 03:00 AM

THE Job Stimulus Programme, a national programme through which the youth will get training and then access funding for entrepreneurship has been launched for Bunyoro region.

By Raymond Baguma and Robert Atuhairwe

THE Job Stimulus Programme, a national programme through which the youth will get training and then access funding for entrepreneurship has been launched for Bunyoro region.

Under the programme, individuals will have to first save money as a precondition to accessing financial support from the Government.

The Government has set aside sh44.5b for the job creation and youth employment scheme starting next month.

Finance minister Maria Kiwanuka said out of the total funding, sh25b would be for the Youth Entrepreneurship Venture Capital Fund to support youth who are starting or expanding their business enterprises.

Also, sh3.5b is earmarked to equip youths with business management skills to get jobs or create their businesses.

Sh1b is meant to equip youth with skills through non-formal vocational training. Also, sh17b will offer work spaces in markets for youth to engage in manufacturing and processing.

The programme was launched during the regional Job Convention for Bunyoro held at Hoima Boma Grounds.

It was attended by over 2,000 participants from Buliisa, Kiryandongo, Hoima, Kibaale and Masindi districts.

Kiwanuka said her ministry as well as that of education would review the school curriculum and include entrepreneurship and basic business management skills in the early years of education.

The Job Convention is to be held in all regions across the country.

At the same function, the mobile telecommunication company MTN, Uganda Youth Convention (UYC), and Financial Empowerment Network (FEN), a local venture capital firm launched a project to promote a savings culture amongst the youth.

Under the project, dubbed FEN Savings, to be piloted in Bunyoro region, the youth will use MTN mobile phone network to save money for their private investments.

Tony Miiro, the director of FEN said the concept of mobile saving was developed upon realisation of the poor saving culture amongst youth, which limits their access to credit facilities offered by banks.

It requires one to register with MTN Mobile Money. Upon registration, a subscriber is issued with a FEN Savings Pledge Card on which they make a commitment to save a specified amount of money regularly.

A FEN-registered person deposits money on their mobile phone through an authorised mobile money agent.

The deposited money can then be transferred to the FEN Savings and the payment is credited.

One’s transaction number is their mobile number.

Plans are in advanced stages to include within the MTN Mobile menu, an option for “FEN Savings.” And money under the FEN account will be used for future investment by the subscriber.

“You cannot access capital unless you participate in saving. Even banks ask you for financial statements. We have a poor saving culture and you cannot talk about capital unless you talk of savings,” Miiro said.

Also, savings in Uganda are limited by lack of access to mainstream banking facilities in the rural areas, he added.

“We want to study patterns and how people are responding to the project. Then there will be a controlled rollout by the end of this year for anyone who wants to put away any petty cash.

It will be helpful to cultivate a savings culture,” Miiro said.

During the Bunyoro job convention, the First Lady launched a website, onto which job seekers will be able to upload their curriculum vitae free of charge and access information on existing job opportunities, according to the initiator Kunnal Karia.

Odrek Rwabogo, the chairperson of Uganda Youth Convention urged the youth not to focus on politics, but think of how to start up income generating projects in agriculture.

He also argued the youth to change their attitude towards work and be patriotic because it is the only way they can move Uganda forward.

The senior presidential advisor on micro, small and medium enterprises, Gudo Ahluwalia said the youth will be assisted to acquire skills in tailoring, milk processing, hairdressing and motor vehicle repair.

Sh44b youth job scheme launched

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