In a bid to address the rampant youth unemployment, the government has partnered with clergy to set up a vocational university in Semuto, Nakaseke District.
While addressing journalists in Kampala on Thursday, the Rev Can Gideon Byamugisha, a renowned HIV activist, said the $9m (about Shs30b) university code named Hope University Semuto (HUS) is aimed at addressing unemployment through vocational skills empowerment.
Canon Byamugisha said the university will use an integrated curriculum that will among other things, help youth acquire skills in metal welding, fabrication, painting, concrete making and bricklaying, business enterprise, building, lumbering, and motor vehicle mechanics.
Quoting the 2000, 2010, and 2013 UN and World Bank reports respectively, Canon Byamugisha, said Luweero triangle that includes the districts of Nakaseke, Luweero and Nakasongola is lagging behind in the anticipated national millennium development goals due to the 1980-1986 Bush War history that brought the current government into power.
“We have come with the idea of setting up a community based university purposely to tackle the social and economic challenges. This area is yet to recover from the war dilemmas. We believe the youth empowered and holistic skilling project will turn around the woes of this area,” the Rev Can Byamugisha said.
Rev James Bukomeko, from Nansana Church, said the funds will be raised through government contributions, fundraisings, individual donations, local and international development partners.
He said the first fundraising is slated for August 30, where Chief of Defence Force (CDF), Gen Katumba Wamala, Mr John Chrysostom Muyingo, State minister for Higher Education, MPs and other dignitaries are expected to grace the event.
The ground breaking event will be in October at Katale Ward, Nkuzongere Zone, about 1.5km from Semuto Town, Nakaseke District. The 14 acre piece of land where the university will be constructed was donated by Canon Byamugisha, who is also the founder of Canon Gideon Foundation that empowers youth and HIV positive persons.
The 2014 report by Uganda Bureau of Statistics (Ubos) shows more than 15 million youth underemployed whereas more than 290,000 are unemployed.
Ms Grace Muhanguzi, the Associate Professor of Hope Institute, said the integrated curriculum will also focus on community behaviour change and addressing healthy related issues.