A total of 80 young people from the five districts of Adjumani, Moyo, Amuru, Lamwo, and Nwoya have been empowered with crucial vocational skills to create new sources of livelihoods following three months of intense training in agriculture and agribusiness related areas.

The training in courses that included horticulture and crop husbandry was fully sponsored by Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) under the Development Initiative for Northern Uganda (DINU) Youth Skilling Programme supported by the European Union (EU).

At an award ceremony where certificates of completion were issued by the Amelo Technical Institute on January 19, 2023, the DINU National Programme Coordinator, Ms. Pamela Kabahesi, said the DINU Youth Skilling Programme (YSP) targets to train a total of 1,300 youths selected from 41 districts in Northern Uganda in agriculture and agribusiness areas for improved employability and income-generating opportunities in the agricultural sector.

Ms. Kabahesi said OPM contracted eight Technical Vocational Education Training Institutes (TVETs) based in Northern Uganda to implement the DINU YSP last year.

The TVETs include ADRAA Agricultural College, Amelo Technical Institute, Lokopio Technical Institute, Amugu Agro Technical Institute, Ave Maria Vocational Training and Youth Development Centre, Kotido Technical Institute, Nakapiripirit Technical Institute, and Northern Uganda Youth Development Centre.

“With an intake of 160 youths to be trained from November 2022 to May 2023, each TVET was awarded a grant contract of approximately 50,000 EUR or Shs220 million to conduct the skills development and training programmes in key areas such as: horticulture, crop & animal husbandry, beekeeping, agro-input supply management, tree nursery operation and carpentry,” said Pamela in a message delivered on her behalf by the DINU Gulu Regional Programme Coordinator, Ms. Beatrice Arach.

She explained that the short-term vocational training programmes also include an apprenticeship and delivery of a set of start-up kits for the trained youth, enabling them to practice the acquired skills and to set-up and create small businesses.

The Principal of Amelo Technical Institute Mr. Patrick Ejom, said the 80 graduates were part of the total 160 youths who were selected to be trained at the institute in two cohorts in vocational courses that include horticulture, crop and animal husbandry. He said the second cohort shall report next month.

He said the learners have been disciplined and urged them to implement the skills and knowledge acquired to create and start small income generating businesses.

“Be a pioneer in your community. The skills you have acquired are enough to help you start valuable enterprises,” he said.

Mr. Ejom, commended OPM and the EU for skilling the youth in Northern Uganda, saying the development will enable many young people to engage in productive economic activities for better livelihoods.  END