Since the National Launch of the Young Africa Works: Markets for Youth Program in May 2021, KRC has undergone intermittent changes in the planned schedules for the District launches due to restricted public gathering, transport and general fear in the population created by the COVID-19 pandemic.
However, a number of maneuvers have been made by the implementing teams to decentralize launches under strict observance of SOPs. As a result, three project launch activities have been implemented in Kikube, Hoima and most recently in Kabarole District.
In Kabarole District, the launch meeting was held on 22nd July 2021 at the Kabarole District Headquarters and in attendance were the LCV, Deputy CAO, CDO, Youth councilors, and sub county leaders.
In his remarks, the LCV Kabarole District, Hon Richard Rwabuhinga congratulated KRC upon winning a grant with Goal Uganda to implement the Young Africa Works; Markets for Youth Program. He said that KRC has been a strong, reliable and dependable partner while implementing other projects in the region. He said that targeting the youth in the area of agriculture is key considering 75% of Uganda’s population is below the age of 30 and agriculture employs over 70% of the population.
He however noted that the youth are not interested in agriculture and have left it to the elders. The current conditions like rain fed agriculture and rudimentary practices do not attract the youth. The youth also lack resources like land and have limited access to finances. Despite the bottlenecks, he said, agriculture remains the mainstay of Uganda’s economy. He reiterated that efforts of partners like KRC together with the government interventions like AGRILED will support the youth to find meaningful opportunities like value addition and access to finance in agriculture.
The leaders in attendance committed to support the implementation of the project.
“I am glad that this project will be implemented in Kabarole District and it will especially be targeting the young women. I pledge to support the program and promote it whenever I go. I will work with KRC to make sure that it succeeds.” Birungi Boniface, the Youth Chairperson Kabarole District.
“I propose we identify other youth who have been involved in agriculture and have succeeded. These will act as role models to inspire the other youth that will have been selected”. Ahumuza Grace Female Youth Councilor, Kabarole District.
Ngeso Sophie, the female youth councilor representing Persons with Disabilities in Kicwamba Sub County said that the groups should include at least 1 or 2 adults to give direction and guidance to the groups.
In Kabarole District, the YAW project is targeting mostly young women, men and youth with disabilities for a period of 4 years in specific enterprises including bananas, coffee, horticulture and livestock. Youth in groups will be identified and those not in groups will be supported to form and facilitated to identify challenges in relation to their participation in agricultural market systems. In Kabarole, 35 groups will be supported in the project period from 5 cub counties of Mugusu, Rwengaju, Kicwamba, Harugongo and Kasenda.
The Deputy CAO, Mr. Kikwaya Alexander commissioned the project and urged the Sub County leaders to embrace it and support it to achieve its objectives.
Kabarole Research and Resource Centre (KRC) is implementing a Young Africa Works (YAW) program funded by Goal Uganda with an objective of skilling the youth to improve their livelihoods and incomes, and enable them access dignified and fulfilling work.
The program will be implemented in 7 districts in the Toro and Bunyoro Sub regions including Kabarole and Fort Portal city. It is under this background that an inception meeting was conducted in Kabarole with an aim of introducing the project to the Kabarole district leaders.