President Yoweri Museveni says he is keen on helping youth become job creators instead of sending girls to the Middle East to become maids.
Museveni was speaking after Finance Minister Matia Kasaijja presented the 2017/18 National Budget on his behalf at Serena conference centre in Kampala on Thursday.
“We have a much more educated population. Literacy rate is 75%. These educated people, though most studied courses without readily available jobs, can easily join the entrepreneurial class. They are easy to train.”
He said government must convert these young people from joblessness to employed and with property and that the NRM has created a good base for this.
“We have abundant raw materials. Leather is taken away in raw form and brought back to Uganda as shoes which we buy expensively.”
Museveni displayed a range of locally made clothes and shoes saying the youth could produce them instead of relying on exports.
Museveni even gave Arua Municipality MP, Ibrahim Abiriga, a pair of locally made sandals to demonstrate what he was trying to say.
The president also said his favourite hat was designed by himself, a creation inspired by his ‘bush war’ days.
“The uniform I am putting on is Ugandan made. The answer is that we have donated both the wealth and the jobs to the outsiders. When I talk of imports, do not think that I am confining myself to import-substitution.”
Museveni said the country was misusing its purchasing power buying other people’s products.
“The military uniform I am putting on is Ugandan made. Only the beret is foreign. Instead of our girls going abroad to work as house girls, we should support them with skills and capital to become job creators.”
He has so far supported a group in Wobulenzi doing maize milling.
“Why export our grain unprocessed when our children can do it here? Soon I will get them to manufacture transformers. That is why Kilembe Mines must have serious investors.”