Racheal Mwagale, the Executive Director Junior Achievement Uganda speaking at the launch of the grant
Young people and schools with promising business innovations are to benefit from a new seven million euros (UShs26.8bn) grant offered by Z Zurich, a Switzerland-based Entrepreneurship Foundation.
George Mutekanga, the Assistant Commissioner in Charge of Private Schools and Institutions told our reporter in an interview that Uganda is among the first three countries that this grant will go to of the nine African countries that are set to benefit over the next three years.
He says that when the donors visited the Ministry of Education earlier, they pitched to them the need for this funding that will mainly go to secondary school students based on the fact the country has just started implementing a new curriculum that is mooting for hands-on skills.
He says that they are looking at young people whose ideas are climate-smart, can create jobs and address other critical needs of the country. These will be trained on among others financial management and business communication. The plan is to reach 550,000 young people.
Racheal Mwagale, the Executive Director of Junior Achievement Uganda, the NGO with whom the government is vetting learners for the grant said that they have also resolved to seek beneficiaries that are out of school considering that COVID-19 pushed some young people out of school and ventured into businesses that can be supported to work better.
Junior Achievement Africa, JAU’s mother organization has been selected as the implementing partner of the project across the continent and other countries benefiting include Burkina Faso, Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Liberia, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Tanzania and Togo.
JA Africa CEO, Simi Nwogugu said many young Africans are entrepreneurial by nature but are limited in their ability to develop solutions to the challenges around them and capture value from those solutions, a reason why this programme is focusing on helping them develop resilience, among others.
“Exposing Africa youth to Zurich Insurance Group employees as global mentors as well as to JA Africa alumni and role models such as Iyinoluwa Aboyeji who has founded not one but two unicorns in Nigeria will help build the critical social skills and confidence necessary to validate their ideas and communicate them to a global audience of funders and clients”.