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Sasakawa Launches Youth Business Clinics In Uganda

By Abel Kawere

Sasakawa global 2000 has launched the first ever Youth Business clinic whose theme is “Giving Options”. The clinics are aimed at exploring and sharing with the youth the different profitable options that they can engage in and in turn form a mentor-mentee collaboration for constant guidance, coaching, follow up and growth of existing and upcoming businesses.

Launching the business clinics at the MukonoZardi recently, the sasakawa regional director Dr Mel Oluch  said youth were a very key aspect in the entire agriculture development agenda for Africa, he said over the years solutions to youth problems has been focusing on formal class education than promoting agribusiness entrepreneurship.

“ Youth comprise of the largest number of our population, it is time they are put to the center, this can only be through retooling and skilling them to enter the competitive world, the clinics are going to transfer knowledge and we hope that a big number of youth and communities will be transformed .” said DrOluch

Over the years, SG2000 Uganda in collaboration with other development partners has promoted/supported youth’s employment in agribusiness value chain as service providers and producers.

This has become the driving force for youths’ employment and modernization of agriculture that is strategically positioned to the realization of the national development plan II and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) .

According to DrRoselineNyamutale, the Uganda Country director sasakawa Global 2000 said  The sustainability of agriculture and food production relies on young people remaining in rural areas and engaging in agribusiness in particular given the high youth migration to urban centers for formal employment (Foundation, 2017).

“With the low level of industrial development, unemployment of youths in urban areas of Uganda is even worse with most of them unable to break even in the various informal business ventures they have resorted to.” Said DrNyamutale.

The business clinics besides classroom lectures, there were exhibitions and a pitching contest where youths were able to spell out their ideas. They were judged basing on; Innovativeness, Productivity and Profitability of the business, sustainability and scalability of the business idea/model, passion and Interest in the business, Opportunities that the business idea/model offers to the community especially women and youth and an Active business plan.

Mr. Mayambala Godfrey from Luwero district who emerged as the best overall winner of the first round of the business clinics with his Innovative Nokia youth Agribusiness model for service provision.testifies that business clinics is a very impacting model proven to transform any youth into an agriprenuer.

Godfrey is a graduate of Makerere with a Bachelors of Commerce degree who after graduation chose to go back to his home area to serve his community. Luckily Sasakawa Global 2000 had established a One Stop Center Association (OSCA) for farmers to act as center for training, bulking, access to inputs, extension, Post-Harvest handling and Agro processing.

Godfrey volunteered to act as the center manager for ZirobweAgaliAwamu Business Training Association (ZAABTA) OSCA. One of the first observations he had was the rate of youth unemployment in Zirobwesub county yet there were a number of services that could be provided to the farmer groups he was working with. As such, he thought of an intervention that could motivate the youths to engage in agriculture for income given their limited/lack of production resources.

As a result Godfrey started a NOKIA youth agribusiness model in 2013 year that gives youth agribusiness options along different value chain nodes as service providers, traders, input stockists among others and is currently employing 1,634 youths. Through this approach, 322 university students have been exposed to these opportunities during their internship.

As a winner of the Business Clinic, he will be invited to Japan in August 2019 to share his experiences at the Official Side Event of the TICAD7 (Tokyo International Conference for Africa’s Development) hosted by SAA.

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