President Museveni has said poverty in the country is due to laziness and lack of knowledge.
The President made the remarks at a pass out of 756 girls that the Minister in Charge of General Duties in the Office of the Prime Minister, Hon. Mary Karooro Okurut, who is also the Bushenyi District woman Member of Parliament, has helped in the district to acquire skills in catering and hotel management, knitting, fashion and design.
The youth were also trained in hair weaving, art craft, sanitary pad and liquid soap making.
The ceremony took place Saturday at the Bushenyi District Headquarters’ grounds.
“I am happy to find that development is increasing in Bushenyi. I have not seen the wealth here anywhere else. There should not be poverty. The only problem is lack of knowledge and laziness,” the President said.
President Museveni said that he was glad that Hon. Karooro Okurut had brought people from Kampala to train the youth in different skills so that they could get jobs and earn a living.
He told the granduands that the skills they have acquired should be guided by service provision and import substitution.
“If you look at yourselves right now, do you ask yourselves where those clothes you are dressed in come from? The majority come from outside Uganda. That means you are offering services and jobs to other people outside Uganda,” he said.
Mr. Museveni advised the trainers to focus more on skills that would address import substitution such as leather tanning.
“Bushenyi is rich in hides and skins. Once you teach these skills, we shall save US$54 million on importing leather,” said.
Minister Karooro Okurut, on her part, urged the graduands to share the knowledge and skills they have acquired over the past two months with other youths so as to find ways of creating jobs and earning an income.
She also thanked West Ankole Diocese for giving her the facility where the girls were trained. She reported that the project would look into skilling the male child in its future intakes.
President Museveni gave Shs.1 million to each of the graduands as a contribution to their startup capital.
Earlier, President Museveni toured Swazi Highland Tea Company Limited in Kisingo village in Kyamuhunga Sub-County.
The factory’s Managing Director, Mr. Africano Bakaihahwenki, reported that the enterprise produces 50,000kgs of tea daily and employs about 350 staff.
The President then commissioned Global Village Tea enterprise, which belongs to Hajji Hassan Basajjabalaba.
The factory employs 620 workers and produces 20,000kgs of tea per day in a peak season. 60% of the production is got from out growers while 40% is from the tea estate of the factory.
President Museveni thanked Mr. Bakaihahenki and Hajji Bassajabala for understanding and implementing the gospel of wealth creation.
“Tea production has gone up. From one factory, you can now get the total tonnage of the amount of tea Uganda used to produce when the National Resistance Movement had just come into power,” he said.
The President also visited Bushenyi Demonstration Farm for Wealth Creation in Mazinga village where Mr. Edmond Bashasha, the Farm Manager, said that the enterprise has taught the youth in all the Sub-Counties of Bushenyi District how they can use the four-acre model of farming and also provided inputs such as seedlings, poultry and cattle to them.
President donated a FUSO truck to the farm to help the youth transport their produce, such as eggs, that they sell to neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo.
The Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, Hon. Elioda Tumwesgye, that of Tourism, Wildlife and Antiquities, Hon. Ephraim Kamuntu, Bushenyi District Resident Commissioner, Peter Mugisha and Igara West MP, Hon. Raphael Magyezi, attended the ceremonies.