When our leader, President Yoweri Museveni, mooted the idea of setting up 18 Presidential zonal hubs, many naysayers were quick to down-play the move.

The Presidential Zonal Industrial Hubs, the President said, were set up to not only skill youth but to also re-ignite the much-needed import substitution.

Curbing unemployment was the other target, with youth from various 18 zonal hubs across the country, getting equipped with vocational and technical skills necessary for the job market.

So, after over three years, the Presidential Zonal Industrial Hubs have triggered a boom of skilled youth, who are not yearning for jobs, but are creating these jobs.

Some have set up carpentry workshops. Others are into wielding. Majority have started their own car garages after they have sharpened their mechanical skills.

In fact, some youth have set up small cottage industries, which will come in handy in the battle against importing what can be produced locally in the country by this army of youth that the President has personally educated and skilled through this intervention.

As these youth are trained, they are mainly implored to tailor their skills on basic human needs such as food, shelter and clothing—things that can be easily turned into businesses for them to earn a living in future.

In some hubs, the instructors have also trained the youth and equipped them with skills of making animal feeds from locally produced crops such as maize.

So, in all aspects these industrial hubs have become game changers. 

Even when one reads the story of the Asian tigers such as China, Japan, South Korea and Singapore, among others, the element of vocational and technical skills comes at the top of the narrative.

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Some of these economies, which were at the same economic standing with Uganda and many African countries, at the time of Independence in 1962, have turned around their economies through small cottage industries based in communities.

Tapping into the vocational skills of their youthful population, they managed to lay a firm foundation of a strategic local industrial revolution.

So, with the Presidential zonal industrial hub initiative, this foundation has been laid in Uganda.

The youth have gained the necessary and much-needed skills that will sharpen our road to industrialization and social-economic transformation, which is one of the core principles of the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM), a party under the able leadership of our revolutionary leader, Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, the General of African Resistance.

In fact, if more emphasis is put on the Presidential Industrial Zonal Hubs, there will be no need for Uganda to import shirts, trousers or suits from Europe, Asia or any other place in the world.

The money Ugandans spend on importing foreign goods, will stay into our economy. These industrial hubs act as torch for our young people to see what needs to be done in a modern society.

Why would Uganda donate money to Asia, America or Europe on things that our young people, if well-trained, can produce locally here?

All what these young people need is support from Government to ensure that they put into action what they have learnt from these various Zonal industrial hubs.

And the President has ensured that these youth get the support. In fact, our immediate boss, the Minister for Presidency, Honourable Milly Babalanda, recently instructed us, the Resident District Commissioners (RDCs), to capture details of all industrial hub students and graduands to enable Government full track them and spur their much needed help to enable them set up businesses.

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So, every Ugandan youth must embrace these zonal industrial hubs, encourage many stakeholders to enroll, acquire skills and propel the much-needed job creation initiatives, propel import substitution and enhance skilling.

So far, the results are good. The country, through the vision of President Yoweri Museveni, has created a formidable force of young people who are ready to help him in the war of liberating the country’s economy from a consumer of imported goods to an exporter of Ugandan processed goods.

The writer is the deputy RDC Manafwa district and a member of the Rotary Club of Kasangati

The post KAGENYI LUKKA: Presidential Industrial Hubs, a real game changer in youth transformation appeared first on Watchdog Uganda.

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