Given the rising rates of youth employment in the country, Prof Margie Kigozi, a consultant at the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) has challenged Ndejje University graduands to start planning to set up small businesses to avoid the disappointments from the world of unemployment.
She made the call as chief guest at the 21st Ndejje University graduation ceremony at Ndejje University main campus in Luweero district on Friday.
“Even if you have a job, consider what business you can do. Start small and grow your businesses. We have seen people do that,” she said.
Ms Kigozi highlighted the importance of University in leading to higher productivity towards improved economic output in building a knowledgeable society and technological economy.
“It is a fact that higher education will lead to higher productivity which in turn results in improved economic output.”
“In modern times, high education has been appreciated for enabling the societies to catch up and keep in touch with technological advancement. Knowledge capacities of high education institutions supported by enabling policy environment and constructive inter sectoral partnerships can enable all countries to develop both economically and socially,” she said.
On the other hand, Kigozi expressed disappointment over foreign investors who import their own labor instead of employing Ugandans.
“I hear a lot of concern about labor. The Chinese come, bring their own labor, the Indians come and bring their own labor. They (investors) are supposed to employ Ugandans and it is much cheaper for any businessman to employ a Uganda. Ugandans are very good at their work,” she said.
The graduation reflected clear efforts by Government to empower women as more than 80% of the graduands were females. Out of a total of 1043 graduands that were awarded degrees, diplomas and certificates, 842 were females while 201 were males.
Meanwhile, the former Chairman of National Planning Authority (NPA) Prof Wilberforce Kisamba Mugerwa who is the current Chancellor of Ndejje University said streamlining higher education is inevitable and appealed for harmonious consultative process with education stakeholders.
“Stakeholders of higher education need to continuously be consulted by institutions to give feed back concerning the effectiveness of graduates in relation to their role in national social – economic development,” he said.
Despite Uganda’s failure to achieve the middle income status by the year 2020 as promised by President Museveni in his 2016 presidential campaigns, Mugerwa expressed optimism that National Development Plan III will enable industrialization and job creation.
“Middle income status is still a role to play and I am happy they have announced the third National Development Plan which is in line with industrialization because our challenge now has been creating jobs and I hope through this, we shall attract more investors and you (graduands) also invest and create jobs. Please don’t give up,” he said.