The Uganda Industrial Research Institute (UIRI) Executive Director, Dr Charles Kwesiga has called for the revitalization of Uganda’s textiles through partnerships with industries in the Nordic states.
Dr Kwesiga made the remarks while being hosted in Denmark by Uganda’s head of mission Mr Kibeedi Zaake Wanume during a benchmarking program of Danish modern technologies that can be easily domesticated to Uganda.
During the program, Dr Kwesiga, had a constructive discussion with VIA college, the institution behind the success of the Danish fashion and design industry, about revitalizing the Uganda textiles industry where he called for a partnership in establishing a comprehensive facility that adds value to cotton and that demonstrates the manufacture of textiles using locally grown cotton.
“This partnership will be used to impart skills that are needed in the manufacture of textiles and anticipated skills capacity building to address the gaps in this industry such as apparel and textile design, machines operations and manufacturing,” he said.
VIA college responded that it can offer to this partnership comprehensive training for targeted skills required to revitalise Uganda's textile manufacturing sector. This training will be preceded by a protracted preparation of curricula that is designed to be uniquely tailored to Uganda's needs for the sector. The college will also advise UIRI as to what technologies both for extended training and small /medium scale production would be appropriate.
Speaking after the program, Mr Kibeedi said the partnership is in the best interest of the young people in Uganda who have untapped potential.
“Uganda is a young population which is a double edged sword to the nation. If the young people are empowered with skills to unlock their potential, it will facilitate for fast tracking the achievement of vision 2040 aimed at Uganda becoming an upper middle class country within 30 years. Failure to empower these young people would be sitting on a time bomb. They may use their energies and frustrations to derailing and deviating activities such as increased crime, drug abuse, and hooliganism,” he said.
“We are exploring all avenues that can create opportunities for the young people through skills development. Today’s meeting between UIRI and VIA College, is to ignite the process and procedures for revitalising Uganda’s textiles industry. The fashion and design industry is growing very fast in Uganda, perhaps due to the young population and growing middle class, but also African garments have started getting into the western markets. I believe that partnership with VIA College will bridge the gaps in the textiles industry hence facilitate for innovations and development of the sector,” he added.
The pair with their entourage also visited Jack and Jones a Danish fashion and design company that is importing Uganda garments produced by Fine spinners in Bugolobi.
Jack &Jones is importing 25000 garments from Fine spinners per month and have a capacity of importing 500,000 garments per month from Uganda if gaps in the textile industry are addressed to ensure consistency in quality and quantity.