The Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga, has called on the leadership in Busoga to encourage and support communities to embrace development programmes.
Kadaga made these remarks at the Skills Development Facility Workshop organised by Private Sector Foundation Uganda (PSFU) on Monday, 28 May 2018 at Hotel Africana, Kampala.
The Speaker was responding to a presentation by the Executive Director, PSFU Gideon Bagadawa who cited low levels of adoption of the Skills Development Facility in Busoga region.
The Skills Development Facility (SDF) is part of the Uganda Skills Development Project funded by the World Bank, which aims at promoting employer-led short term training in order to address prevailing skills imbalances and shortages in Uganda.
Kadaga said that the SDF project would help alleviate the high unemployment rates in Busoga region.
“Have you taken time to look at the structure of your population and how many people idle around because they have nothing to do?” she asked, adding that, “our people drive from Kamuli to go and buy matooke from Kabwohe in Bushenyi. We are taking money to Western Uganda instead of growing the matooke.”
She told the MPs and other leaders from Busoga to utilise their opportunities and train communities otherwise “we are going to keep being overwhelmed as leaders if we do not energize these people to work hard to emancipate themselves financially.”
Badagawa said that Busoga region is lagging behind in development and especially in benefiting from SDF as a project. He said that only Ush1 billion had been granted to businesses and groups in Busoga out of US$21 million disbursed throughout the country.
“Busoga can benefit from the PSFU and the project if they are better organised. They need to form unions, register and establish themselves as formalised entities,” he said.
Bagadawa said that for one to be able to get a grant they need to be well prepared.
“This only happens when you have registered yourself as an entity because it helps us to monitor and evaluate businesses and their performances,” he added.
Ruth Musoke, the Project Manager SDF said that the programme is focused on skilling people and providing equipment across all sectors in the economy.