Boosting youth employability in Uganda in the face of COVID-19

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COVID-19 was no barrier to 63 young Ugandans, who have been linked to jobs or internship opportunities in IT-related fields with COL’s support. Through the “ICT for youth employability” project implemented together with the Kampabits youth-based organisation, vulnerable and unemployed youths were able to access training based on COL’s learning resources and gain valuable skills.

The short courses covered ICT skills, such as graphic design, web design, Python, and scratch programming. The young people were also trained in life and entrepreneurship skills and participated in a career fair where they were linked with prospective employers from banks and community-based organisations.

“We have been able to provide remote internships to several trainees even during COVID-19,” said Kampabits Programme Manager Emmanuel Semutenga. He noted that most of the trainees had opted for the graphic design option.

Overworked and underpaid, Robert Kaggo from Kampala joined the programme to boost his self esteem by learning advanced graphics and web design. He says he got his first client even before completing the training and has now started an advertising company where he designs company logos and websites.

Another learner, Mutyaba Denis (in the photo), did not have any computer skills when he first enrolled in the programme. Having learned coding and graphic design, he is now interning as a front-end developer at in Kampala. In the future, Mutyaba plans to start his own coding company.

Dr Sanjaya Mishra, Education Specialist: eLearning at COL, said: “Short-term programmes like the one offered by Kampabits are a good example of how skilling and reskilling of youths can be taken up locally to provide low-cost training opportunities using open-source tools and open educational resources.”

COL’s Technology-enabled Learning initiative has developed several job-oriented advanced ICT skills courses that can be adapted by any institution to offer training for employment and entrepreneurship.

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