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Rwabwogo Preaches Unity, Hard Work & Value Addition for Sustainable Growth as over 10, 000 Graduate in Ankole Region

In a moving address, Odrek Rwabwogo, the Chairman of the Presidential Advisory Committee on Exports and Industrial Development (PACEID), challenged over 10,000 graduands from Ankole Region to embrace hard work, persistence, and a focus on value addition and above all, unity, as the cornerstones for sustainable economic growth and industrial development.

Addressing the gathering at the Booma Grounds, Mbarara City on Sunday, May 19, 2024, Rwabwogo commended the graduates for their achievements and encouraged them to see this milestone as the beginning of their journey towards contributing to the nation’s growth.

PACEID in partnership with the Directorate of Industrial Training (DIT) facilitated and certified over 10,000 individuals from all the districts of the Ankole Region with a modular category certificate. All these excelled in competence-based industrial assessment after six months.

The graduates were certified in the fields of tailoring, baking, coffee/pig/goat/cattle/bee farming, plumbing, motor vehicle/cycle mechanics, photography, soap and detergent making, dairy processing, mushroom farming, graphic design, computer application, carpentry, embroidery, music, leather design, and banana farming.

Rwabwogo, who arrived for the ceremony in the company of his wife, Patience Rwabwogo, stressed the importance of this training which is to enable more job creators rather than job seekers. “The country has many younger people coming into the employment level but some are not employable. Just graduating doesn’t mean that you are employable, they need a special touch on skilling and attitude. The importance of this training and certification is that you go start your own business and hopefully deal in the 13 products we are involved in for export and hopefully we can catch you on standards, hopefully we can find you a buyer, hopefully we can finance the orders. You have to build each level in order to lead into another.”

He reiterated that it is not enough to merely produce urging the audience to add value to the products and services which enhances their competitiveness in both domestic and global markets.

Rwabwogo also called for unity stating that individualism cannot create industry. “We must work in unity because everybody wants to work on their own in our country. There is no success unless you really bring particular products to create industries. For example, the president launched here(Mbarara) a Tin factory not far from here a month ago. For you to succeed with tin, you must be assembling radios, laptops, and other things. But if you get tin and combine it with copper which we have, then you can make brass. Brass is what we use on bullets and vehicles etc. Industries have to be strong in order for investment to come in. You cannot have one company create an industry, it takes a lot of time. The point of unity is to help us create industries on value addition and processing of those things.”

He added, “By collaborating, sharing knowledge, and supporting one another, we can amplify our impact and drive Uganda’s industrial revolution forward.”

His words resonated with the graduates, who listened intently, inspired by his vision for a future where Uganda’s industries thrive on the foundations of skilled, dedicated, and innovative individuals.

DIT Director Dr. Patrick Byakatonda congratulated the graduates and encouraged them not to stop at this certificate but to aim higher by furthering their learning to fulfill Uganda’s huge industrial capacity. “As we think about the future, we must think about Uganda, our Nation has a huge industrial capacity with one of the most innovative workforces globally. I thank the stewardship of Odrek (Rwabwogo) for unleashing industrial potential for global excellence.”

PACEID Head of Secretariat, Matthew Bagonza expressed gratitude to all stakeholders involved in organizing the graduation. “I am grateful to all the stakeholders involved in organizing this remarkable event. This is a testament to the fruitful partnership between PACEID and DIT, which has empowered skilled individuals and certified them after thorough assessments upon completion of their training programs in their respective fields.” he said before taking the opportunity to communicate PACEID’s mandate of boosting Uganda’s exports and increasing foreign earnings by an extra USD 6Bn in the next five years and USD 100Bn by 2062.

Kole District Member of Parliament Hon. Opio Samuel Acuti applauded PACEID for the vital role it is playing in realizing the vision for a more industrialized and export-oriented Uganda. “We are proud to support this initiative and witness the fruit of this partnership with the Directorate of Industrial Training. This is a momentous occasion for the Ankole region. These graduates represent the future leaders and innovators who will drive Uganda’s industrial and economic growth.”

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PACEID and Purple Skills Klinic Partnership Graduates over 100 in Various Fields    

On the Wednesday, 1st of May 2024, the Presidential Advisory Committee on Exports and Industrial Development (PACEID) and the Directorate of Industrial Training (DIT), in collaboration with the Purple Skills Klinic Foundation led by Douglas Lwanga, held a graduation ceremony at Eden Grounds in Kamwokya. The event marked the successful completion of a skilling training program by over 100 individuals, encompassing diverse fields; cosmetology, soap making, deejaying, baking, photography/videography, modeling, public speaking, graphic designing, and various other vocational skills among others.

The key speakers at the event were Dr. Patrick Byakatonda, the Director of DIT, and Matthew Bagonza, the Head of the Secretariat for PACEID. During their speeches, they congratulated the graduates and encouraged them to put the skills they had acquired to good use by contributing to the growth of the economy.

Matthew Bagonza, Head of PACEID Secretariat encouraged the graduates to use their acquired skills to better the economy

During his speech, Matthew Bagonza conveyed his heartfelt congratulations to the graduands and thanked Douglas Lwanga for the initiative that is aimed at bettering the lives and livelihoods of the people in the ghettos of Kamwokya before committing continued support for the Purple Skills Klinic going forward.

“The partnership between PACEID and DIT has been instrumental in equipping these young people with the necessary skills to thrive in various industries. We are confident that they will utilize their newfound knowledge and expertise to contribute to the success of Uganda’s exports and industrial development.” Bagonza said adding that the graduates now can use newfound expertise to add value to their respective products and contribute to Uganda’s target of USD 6Bn in the next five years.  

Matthew Bagonza and DIT Director, Dr. Patrick Byakatonda inspecting some of the products made by the graduates

Dr. Patrick Byakatonda took the opportunity to commission the graduates of the Purple Skills Klinic where the graduates were awarded modular occupational competence-based certificates in their respective fields. “The skills they have learned will be invaluable and I believe they will play a crucial role in the nation’s economic growth.”

DIT Director, Dr. Patrick Byakatonda

One of the guest speakers at the ceremony, Duncan Abigaba, a graduate student of international business at the Higher School of Economics in Saint Petersburg, Russia, expressed his delight at being part of the occasion. He extended his gratitude to PACEID for its contribution to empowering the youth in the ghetto with practical and employable skills.

Abigaba emphasized the significance of skilled labor in economic development and advocated for the promotion of locally produced goods in the international market. “Economies are built by skilled people not educated people. I encourage you to use your skills to produce quality goods and services that align with the national, regional, and international standards.”

Duncan Abigaba

Amidst the celebratory atmosphere, the graduates were treated to captivating performances by renowned entertainers including Pastor Wilson Bugembe, Nina Roz, Fefe Bussi, and Karole Kasita. These artistes imparted words of encouragement to the graduates, urging them to persevere and continue creating employment opportunities within their respective fields of expertise.

Douglas Lwanga, the Founder of Purple Skills Klinic applauded the joint efforts of PACEID and DIT for their support towards the success of the ceremony. “Thank you Mr. Odrek Rwabwogo, I know you are not here with us today but we appreciate the good work you and your team are doing not only for us but for the entire country.”

Purple Skills Klinic Foundation founder Douglas Lwanga with Kampala Woman MP, Hon. Shamim Malende

This served as a testament to the positive impact of collaborative initiatives aimed at nurturing vocational skills and enabling economic empowerment within communities. As the graduates embark on their professional journeys, they carry with them not only a certificate of accomplishment but also a sense of purpose and determination to contribute meaningfully to Uganda’s socio-economic landscape.

Douglas Lwanga is congratulated by Eastern Region Youth MP, Hon. Odoi Onen

The graduation ceremony was attended by government officials, industry leaders, and community members, all of whom celebrated the achievements of the graduates and their potential to contribute to the country’s economic prosperity. Prominent among these were Hon. Shamim Malende, Kampala Woman Member of Parliament, and Hon. Odoi Onen, Youth member of Parliament for the Eastern region.

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Success requires a positive attitude and the right mindset- Rwabwogo to Bunyoro Sub-Region graduates

The Chairman of the Presidential Advisory Committee on Exports and Industrial Development (PACEID) Odrek Rwabwogo has encouraged the graduates of an industrial skilling program not to be afraid of failure, to cultivate a positive attitude, and to develop the right mindset to succeed in their chosen fields. This was on Friday 23rd February 2024 at Duhaga Secondary School playground in Hoima City where 6112 individuals from Bunyoro Sub-Region graduated in various fields after completing a six-month Skilling Program.

The 6112 individuals were awarded certificates in various fields including; piggery, fish farming, fruit farming, bricklaying, baking/cooking, photography, radio and television presenting, computer application, tailoring, motor vehicle mechanics, goat farming, music and soap farming among many others.

The skilling program is an initiative of the collaboration between PACEID and the Directorate of Industrial Training (DIT) under the Ministry of Sports and Education.

Rwabwogo, who was the Chief Guest, shared personal experiences to inspire the graduates and emphasized the importance of learning from failures and bouncing back stronger, rather than being disheartened by setbacks. “Achieving success requires a positive attitude and a mindset that refuses to quit. PACEID recognizes the potential of the Bunyoro Sub-region in contributing to Uganda’s export sector, and has designed this program to provide the necessary skills and knowledge to thrive in various industrial sectors and contribute to the growth of export-driven economies.”

He urged the graduates to view failure as an opportunity for self-reflection and improvement, rather than a reason to give up on their dreams. “Failure is not the end of the road but a stepping stone towards success,” Rwabwogo said passionately. “Do not be afraid to take risks and face failure head-on. It is through failure that we learn valuable lessons and can grow as individuals.”

Dr. Patrick Byakatonda, the Director-DIT thanked PACEID for their efforts in enhancing participants’ employability and enabling them to seamlessly transition into the workplace. “This approach aligns with the principal goal of the initiative, which is to foster economic growth by nurturing a skilled and competent workforce in the Bunyoro Sub-region. By leveraging each other’s strengths, DIT and PACEID aim to create a robust and complex training curriculum that addresses the specific requirements of different industrial sectors within the Bunyoro Sub-region and the entire country.”

DIT Director Dr. Patrick Byakatonda

Dr. Byakatonda further encouraged the graduates to upgrade their skills to higher vocational-level competencies to compete better in the global market.

Hon. Mary Grace Mugasa, the State Minister for Public Service applauded PACEID and DIT for the skilling initiative that saw thousands of individuals get certified and pledged to support the cause whenever she is called upon. “This skilling program will create a lasting impact on the industrial landscape of Bunyoro Sub-region. We are grateful that our people are going to be certified and be recognized at an international level.”

Hon. Mary Grace Mugasa, State Minister for Public Service addresses graduates

Matthew Bagonza, the Head of the Secretariat at PACEID cautioned the graduates about keeping discipline and urged them to aim for higher rewards. He expressed gratitude to all who contributed to the successful completion of the training and assessment in Bunyoro. “Today’s graduation ceremony serves as a testament to the hard work and dedication of the program participants, as well as the successful collaboration between PACEID and DIT. Thank you Dr. Byakatonda and your team.”

Head of PACEID Secretariat Matthew Bagonza salutes the graduates

As the chairman of PACEID, Rwabwogo continues to inspire and empower individuals in Uganda to strive for success and contribute to the country’s overall economic growth.

By equipping individuals with the skills and knowledge necessary for success in the global marketplace, the initiative aims to unlock the region’s economic potential and pave the way for a prosperous future.

The graduation ceremony was attended by a considerable number of prominent leaders in the Bunyoro Sub-region including; Rev. Fr. Dominic Ndugwa Ateenyi, Rev. Francis Mugisa Amooti, Hon. George Tinka Amooti, Hon. Muhanuli Bosco Amooti, Sheik Musa Atwooki, Hon. Lawrence Bategeka Ateenyi, Bakutaga Andrew Ateenyi, Magara Fitz Gerald John Ateenyi and many others at different levels.

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PACEID and DIT empower Mukono with 4675 skilled graduates 

The Presidential Advisory Committee on Exports and Industrial Development (PACEID) in partnership with the Directorate of Industrial Training (DIT) have graduated 4675 students in various fields in Mukono. The graduates successfully completed a six-month competency certificate training program. 

Held under the theme ‘Skilling for Industrial Development: Promoting Employable Skills’, the graduation ceremony took place on Thursday 25/01/2024 at Mukono Boarding Primary School in Mukono Municipality with PACEID Chairman Odrek Rwabwogo officiating as the Chief Guest.

The program aims to equip individuals with the necessary skills to promote industrial development and increase exports.

Students were certified in various fields including; electrical engineering, piggery, brick laying, coffee farming, poultry farming, tailoring, rabbit husbandry, photography, soap making, art and crafts designing, carpentry, motorcycle maintenance and styling among others. During the six-month program based on a modular competency framework, PACEID and DIT devised a comprehensive curriculum that covers both theory and practical aspects.

Rwabwogo congratulated the students for successfully completing the skilling program noting that it marks a special milestone in their journey towards self-reliance and professional growth. “The skills and knowledge you have acquired in various fields will undoubtedly open doors of opportunity for you in the job market and contribute to the overall development of our nation. As graduates of this program, you are now equipped with the necessary skills to excel in your chosen field. Remember that learning doesn’t stop here, it is a lifelong process.” Rwabwogo told the graduates. 

He revealed that the collaboration between PACEID and DIT underscores the government’s commitment to fostering a skilled workforce capable of driving industrial growth. 

“Today is an important day to bring to fruition the collaboration the collaboration between PACEID and DIT, you can hear the word ‘Industry’ in both. We cannot attract investments, factories into the country if we don’t have qualified labour. But we also cannot train all the skills we need in such a short time because it is expensive. When DIT looks at the work of exports and ties it to industry and trains and certifies people in a short time on basic skills; how to rare chickens for exports, how to run a farm. These are basics but they are a very good start. When you certify these kinds of skills, they can carry these to factories and find work but also make it easier for people to find a little bit trained labour than rushing to universities which are often theoretical.” Rwabwogo noted while also emphasizing the national collective ethic.  

Rwabwogo further expressed appreciation to DIT headed by Dr. Patrick Byakatonda for the collaboration and support through the program stating that it is through these partnerships that we can create meaningful change and transform lives of many. 

Dr. Patrick Byakatonda- Director of the Directorate of Industrial Training thanked the trainers and instructors who worked tirelessly to impart knowledge and expertise in the graduates. 

He congratulated the students while cautioning them of the challenges ahead. “As we celebrate this milestone, let us not forget the challenges thar lie ahead. The industrial landscape is constantly evolving, and it is imperative that we continue to adapt and stay ahead of the curve. Therefore, I encourage you (graduates) to never stop learning and to continuously upgrade your skills.” Dr. Byakatonda told the graduates during his speech. 

The chief mobilizer for the training program in greater Mukono, Pastor Samuel Lwandasa highlighted the importance of this initiative and its positive impact on the beneficiaries and the community at large. He further applauded Rwabwogo and PACEID team for the efforts in reducing poverty through skills development. 

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