By: Ismael Kasooha
The First Lady and Minister for Education and Sports Mrs. Janet Kataha Museveni has expressed concern over the high rates of child labour in Busoga sub region that is retarding development in the area.
“While we are all aware that education is a critical factor in development and progress; unfortunately, figures from the Uganda Bureau of Statistics (UBOS) indicate that the Busoga region currently has the highest number of children in employment, aged between 6-13 years; leading among other things to the low enrolment and high dropout rates experienced at both primary and secondary education levels,” said Mrs. Museveni.
This was contained in her message delivered by the Prime Minister of Uganda Rt. Hon. Robinah Nabbanja during the Busoga Multi- Denominational Prayer Assembly held at Iganga Municipal grounds on Sunday.
The First Lady said that in addition, with the COVID -19 pandemic, the education of the girl child in Busoga was severely affected by increased incidences of teenage pregnancies and early marriages.
“I call upon all the leaders gathered here, to join government in the “Education Plus Campaign”, introduced to curb school dropout rates, by among other things promoting positive parenting. In this age of uncensored Internet, social media and the multitude of foreign cultures that assail our children, I entreat the people of Busoga to promote parental personal and intentional involvement, in the moral and spiritual upbringing of our children,” said Mrs. Museveni.
She said that this God-given responsibility should not be left to schools, relatives or even religious institutions but rather let us collectively do our part, to help our children develop into responsible citizens.
With regards to the implementation of the Busoga Development Agenda, Mrs. Museveni said that as a people group, God has blessed Busoga abundantly with what it takes to develop the region. Busoga has various industrial advantages over the other regions in Uganda.
“It is one of the nation’s Industrial Hubs, with an abundance of agricultural produce and natural resources, manufacturers and significant Hydro-electric Power Plants. As part of this Development Agenda, please take the initiative to further exploit the potential of these reserves,” said the first lady.
She said that Busoga is home to the Source of the Nile, located in Lake Victoria and that is the largest Tropical Lake in the world.
Therefore, there are various tourism activities with the potential, for further growth and development. The region also has rare minerals worth billions of dollars that were discovered in Bugiri, Bugweri and Mayuge.
In regard to the human capital development of this region, Mrs. Museveni said that the majority population comprising of the younger generation should be encouraged to take pride in their heritage, support development and prioritize their financial investments here, as their place of origin.
She said that the NRM Government is currently promoting the Parish Development Model (PDM), which should be leveraged and integrated in this Busoga Development Agenda.
This is because the PDM focuses amongst other things at the household level, with special consideration for the youth, people with disabilities and women and appealed to the people of Busoga to embrace the program.
The First Lady asked the people of Busoga not to wait for government intervention but rather make efforts to improve their household incomes for sustainable development.
Janet Kataha Museveni lauded the Kyabazinga of Busoga for the efforts put in to develop Busoga.
Rt. Hon. PM and DPM s with religious and political leaders in Busoga sub-region
The First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for East African Community affairs Rebecca Kadaga said that they want a united Busoga.
Different religious leaders prayed for Busoga to develop because Busoga is one of the regions naturally endowed but still trapped in poverty.
The event was held under the theme ‘building strategic partnerships and unity for sustainable development for Busoga’.
The prayers were graced by the Third Deputy Prime Minister Rukia Nakadama, the Minister for Presidency Milly Babalanda, the Minister in charge General Duties in the Office of the Prime Minister Rt. Hon. Justine Kasule Lumumba among others.
The prayers lasted a week.