President Yoweri Museveni has branded as “stupid, pharm ” Ugandans that continue buying products from outside the country yet they can be made locally.
“How can someone put on clothes from China, rx shoes from Italy, information pills drive a car from Japan and use furniture from Dubai, “Museveni wondered during the launch of the presidential initiative of skilling the girl child project at Subway Restaurant in Kampala on Friday.
“It is stupid that a country like Uganda with a number of forests can buy furniture from Dubai, which a desert.”
Museveni said one of the problems that people in African countries have is sleeping and lamenting that there is nothing to do.
The president time has come for people to wake up because man’s basic needs have since increased from food, clothing and shelter to also include health and transport.
According to the president, in order for one to have all of them, they ought to have something in their pockets.
“When we buy (clothes) from China, it costs money and jobs and the country continues grappling.”
“We are chanced to have raw materials like hides and skins; cotton and horns but we haven’t used them to the maximum,” Museveni added.
He explained that in each kilogram of cotton that the country exports, we earn one dollar yet China earns fifteen dollars from the same amount after adding value on to it.
Uganda earns $3.156 billion from her exports whereas $888 million (Shs2.991 trillion) is spent annually on textile imports only.
Museveni argued that on all occasions we buy more expensively clothes from China yet they are got from the cotton we exported to them at a low price.
“They earn a lot of money plus a number of jobs created from the cotton we sell them. We can also do the same.”
He said it was high time government started empowering girls so as they can get skills to start their own jobs and also employ others.
According to the State House Comptroller, Lucy Nakyobe, over 700 girls from all divisions of Kampala are undergoing a 6 month training in tailoring, shoe making, bakery and hair dressing among other skills.
“After the six months, these will be released for another group to come and also get skills,”Nakyobe added.
According to Moses Sande, one of the administrators at the training facility in Wandegeya, the girls were got through announcements and local leaders.
“We targeted girls above the age of 16 and most importantly those from unprivileged backgrounds, school dropouts and teenage mothers “Sande told this website.
President Museveni said after the 6 months skills training, he will be buying equipment as well as some capital for the girls to start their own businesses where they can also employ others.
He added that the program will spread to other parts of the country.