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HOW THE OFFICE OF THE NATIONAL CHAIRMAN’S  HADIJAH WILL CHAMPION BUSINESS INNOVATION

By Our Reporter

KAMPALA:  This week, word surfaced about the launch of new Youth and Women Investment empowerment programme codenamed “National Youth and Women Entrepreneurship Zonal Application” (NYWEZA).

The main question on the lips of most assessors was how #NYWEZA is any different from the already planned several development interventions such as PDM and the Skilling Hubs.

This article aims to clarify these differences and to as well elaborate how “NYWEZA” actually serves as the “missing Link” to compliment, not supplement the above benevolent interventions.

Though targeted practical Enterprise Skills empowerment is a part of NYWEZA, skilling, though beneficial, may not be the main challenge to the Industrialization and modernization of Uganda especially as regards the underemployed youth and women.

If one is vigilant enough, she/he can observe that most Ugandans of working age actually have some sort of skill already, albeit underdeveloped, not formalized, not marketed, poorly branded and underfunded.

For instance,  Farming is a vibrant and beneficial Skill and millions of Ugandans are already semi-skilled experienced subsistence farmers who Feed this region, though with low productivity, lack of technology and lack of direct market access.

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This has led to back and forth redemption and then Poverty again. If it rains  well this year, the Ugandan Farmers shall be ‘loaded’, but if the weather fails next year due to an unpredictable climate and low irrigation adoption, the Ugandan farmer shall become poor again. Skilling in value addition wouldn’t help much for instance in this case. It’s active business mentorship of the beneficiaries to be economically resilient and sustainable that would help.

The same can be said of a skilled typical Ugandan Boda Boda Rider. Attempting to mobilize an already Skilled and experienced Boda Boda Youth group to go to a Hub and instead learn Carpentry Skills is retrogressive. Infact, after the Skilling hub lessons are done, these youth shall most likely become unemployed again yet before they were already earning and even paying VAT, but inefficiently.

They become Unemployed because whatever they need to begin production is not written in Skilling Programs e.g Access to Finance, Inclusivity, functional partnerships and use of ‘what you can already access easily on ground”.  Besides, hundreds of thousands of skilled Carpenters already exist in Uganda, but are non-productive or inefficient.

Instead, rather than training the Boda Boda Youth Group and mentoring them to be more Productive as “Smart” Boda Boda people is what shall lead to better incomes for everyone since the the Economy also needs the Boda Boda Industry to grow and develop in an organized way, not only Carpentry.

Taking a skilled Coffee Farmer to Learn Branding of roasted Coffee is also not sustainable as poorly funded and managed processors who need just the right mentorship already exist and need the current Coffee Farmer to keep supplying better yields, quality and consistent predictable volumes.

Converting Some Ugandan farmers into Processors will lead to a long term drop in Coffee Volumes farmed as she can’t be both a successful Farmer and coffee processor.

Specialization of skills is key in development, and building on already working Skills ‘in situ” shall deliver a deeper positive impact on the economy than introducing citizens to new skills which we may not even be able to fund later. Though, the Skilling hubs are very vital and beneficial to a Youth and any citizen who may lack any skill to begin with.

As you can see, these are different multi thronged  approaches to attain the same mission of a quick and decisive industrialization and modernization by 2040.

“We shall launch the NYWEZA application this week. Think of it as a Platform for mapping, zoning, identification, empowering and coordination of millions of upcoming Youth and women Investors from allover Uganda”, said Hajjati Hadijah Uzeiye who is also the Special Presidential Advisor in the Office of the Chairman of NRM, H.E Y.K Museveni.

“Nyweza is not like any typical Skilling program but simply a practical Business and Industrial Mentorship program that puts mobilization of readily available Natural, Social and Financial Resources to fund an already pre-identified Target Market.

NYWEZA’s ambition is to become the epicentre of innovative Industrial Research and Growth in Uganda.  Look at it as a Sort of African “Silicon Valley” created purposely to make multi billionaires out of Young Ugandans by actively training, COACHING and Mentoring the Youth and Women to sustainably extract and exploit their own rich natural resources while networking them to the wider global economy where we hope to create competitive world movers in the global business and investment arena on behalf of the People of Uganda.

This shall enhance Uganda’s dominance, firm market presence and visibility in a global Village forecasted to be very competitive and harsh a decade from today.

Unlike the on going Skilling hubs, NYWEZA mentors the Citizens in situ, that is, skills and opportunities are identified and sourced from within the population, Locations of Residence and the Youth and Women Skilled there, practically using resources available and attainable sustainably at that location.

The same are then provided with financing from external sources to purchase the right tools and helped to set up management teams that are constantly guided, mentored, monitored, coordinated, supervised by the Office of the National Chairman.

These new Bazzukulu owned and operated ” “Cottages” aimed only at Production, Value-addition and identified Export markets such as AfCTA are then actively linked to Financiers and Markets, then refinanced over and over with their own Profits.

These products are the “NYWEZA Products and Services”, which shall be consisting of all categories of the latest most marketable Industrial Products globally e.g Chemicals, oils, Minerals, Hardware, Computer Software, Honey, Wines, Whiskey, Pharmaceuticals, African Herbals, Machinery, Foods and Beverages etc.

Unlike the PDM model where Parish groups shall mobilize resources to Produce with the Primary Source of Finance being the Government of Uganda, the NYWEZA application simply enables the same producers to access technologies and market information as well as more variety external Capital and Equity,  different from what the Government has to offer. This shall enhance sustainability of created Businesses, Markets and Financing for the young groups.

Currently, about 3.5 million registered Bazzukulu shall be the first beneficiaries of the Nyweza program for pilot purposes but soon it shall be as open Source as any National program.

Why the beneficiaries need to be registered on a special ICT Portal is simply to enable easy data management and processing, Traceability of New industrial Products and their sources which is a prerequisite of any System that intends to Export to the lucrative foreign Markets.

For example, with the help of DANIDA, the Bazzukulu have networked and signed an MOU that enables a special guaranteed access of Ugandan Bee Products to the European Union Market, making Uganda one of the only 5 countries in Africa permitted to the said market. Infact, in Uganda, only a “registered Muzzukulu” can export Bee Products to the EU today.

To protect local Industry, the EU rules bar import of most animal and Bee Products from Africa and beyond.

However, NYWEZA now offers Millions Ugandans in dozens of Uganda Beekeeping districts direct access to this lucrative Market, BUT they must all be registered and Traceable on an IT system which NYWEZA has already designed with Local IT experts and can be accessed on Google play store.

Such rural subsistence agricultural and rural Enterprise Management ICT systems are new in Uganda, but form part of the Urbanization plans of Uganda for the Vision 2040.

In September 2022, SPA Hadijah Uzeiye engaged re-knowned start-ups maestro, Talent manager, Socio-Political Researcher, Crop Scientist and Industrial Economist, Mr Patrick Asiimwe also popularly known as Makombo Jago Minyang  to set up the NYWEZA systems and lead it’s inception and Implementation.

Mr Makombo is known for introducing the rural Financial lending model at Uganda Finance Trust MDI in 2009, a creative and new innovative intervention that enabled the then MDI’s lending portfolio to grow among rural Farmers and hence enabling her graduation into a full Commercial bank, one of the only MDI (Micro Deposit Institution) that has Succeeded to do so for 2 decades.

Makombo also helped set up the Traceability and “Cashless” system for about 60,000 rural Tobacco Farmers in West Nile and Bunyoro sub regions in conjunction with PostBank Ltd in 2013, enhancing their ability to be bankable and to access finance on their own.

This led to a traceable production and export of about 100 million tonnes of Certified Tobacco from Uganda.  By 2015, 25,000 of these rural smallholder Tobacco subsistence Farmers were using Tractors to Plough their Gardens on a Loan scheme, a first success of it’s kind in Africa.

This was also an intervention spearheaded by Makombo. He then introduced the same mechanization strategy to Yumbe and Koboko districts where it struggled to pick up due to lack of enough privately owned tractors in West Nile.

Makombo then led and proceeded to set up several Rural Enterprise Certification systems for 49,000 substance Vanilla, Cocoa and Coffee Farmers in Bundibugyo and Eastern Congo and hence enabling the Export of over 300,000,000 kilograms of Certified Cocoa, Coffee and Vanilla to the forex market.

In 2019, Makombo organized about 11,000 rural based small holder Beekeepers into one Database and hence readying them for Export.

Currently, he spearheads the Team of Bazzukulu that exported 7,000 kilograms of rurally sponsored and sourced Beeswax to the EU and are currently mobilizing the same Beekeepers from allover Uganda to supply 60,000 kilograms of Beeswax and 100,000 kilograms of Honey to Denmark.

The above is just an ideal example of how the NYWEZA system is already functioning successfully and growing tremendously to empower Millions of Upcoming Investors of Uganda from Scratch.

NYWEZA shall be launched in 35 districts of Uganda a month from today by the Office of the National Chairman in Kyambogo.

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