20-06-2011 12:24 Uganda
Uganda luanches 44.5 billion shilling youth job creation scheme
KAMAPALA, June 20 (NNN-NEW VISION) -- The Ugandan government has launced a national programme through which youth will get training and then access funding for entrepreneurship.
Under the Job Stumulus Programme, launched in the Bunyoro region of western Uganda over the weekend, individuals will have to first save money as a pre-condition to accessing financial support from the government, which has set aside 44.5 billion shillings (about 18.25 million USD) for the scheme.
Finance Minister Maria Kiwanuka said Sunday that out of the total funding, 25 billion shillings 9one USD = about 2,440 shillings) would be for the Youth Entrepreneurship Venture Capital Fund to support youth who are starting or expanding their business enterprises.
Also, 3.5 billion shillings were earmarked to equip youths with business management skills to get jobs or to start their own businesses while one billion shillings were to equip youth with skills through non-formal vocational training and 17 billion shillings were to 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 the 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 the Education Ministry 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, Ugandan 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 the Bunyoro region, youth will use the 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 savings 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.