China has pledged to set up a 26-million-U.S.-dollar industrial skills training and production center to help Uganda tackle its unemployment.
Zheng Zhuqiang, Chinese Ambassador to Uganda, said the facility, the first of its kind in Uganda, will be constructed at the Kampala Industrial and Business Park in Namanve to provide industrial training and production skills to the youths, the Chinese Embassy confirmed to Xinhua on Friday.
He said the facility will help Uganda address the youth unemployment and promote a shared vision on development.
“The center will equip Ugandan youths with much-needed skills to land decent jobs in the labor market. It’s conceived that with the joint efforts of China and Uganda we can expect more achievements in the new era,” said Zheng.
Unemployment rate in Uganda rose to 2.28 percent in 2016 from 2.15 percent in 2015, according to Uganda’s Bureau of Statistics.
Basil Ajer, director for small and medium enterprises at Uganda Investment Authority, said the youth center is part of the government efforts to promote the Buy Uganda and Build Uganda policy launched last year.
“We want to promote domestic investment and we will start with individuals or small and medium enterprises that have a component of value addition,” said Ajer.
At least 10 acres of land have been reserved for the proposed new youth skills center expected to be operational by June 2018.
The early beneficiaries of the project will be youths in the field of agro-processing, leather and textile, wood and carpentry.
Increasing Chinese investments in the East African country have been credited for helping solve the country’s unemployment problem.
Figures by the Uganda Chamber of Commerce show that over 40,000 jobs have so far been created by the Chinese enterprises in the country. Enditem