On Wednesday 12th April, the Private Sector Foundation Uganda (PSFU) held a stakeholders’ engagement for one of its most ambitious and transformative projects for young entrepreneurs in northern Uganda.
The Delight with the Youth project that started in 2020 and has already created meaningful and dignified employment opportunities for more than 6,000 young women and men is being implemented by Delight Uganda Limited; under the Young Africa Works Lead Firm Structure (LFS) program; an initiative of PSFU in partnership with Mastercard Foundation.
Located in Nwoya district, Delight Uganda Limited is a nucleus farm of approximately 2,000 acres of land; 1,000 acres of mangoes, 150 acres of citrus, 350 acres of guavas,50 acres of cashew nuts, 500 acres of clonal eucalyptus, and 200 acres of compensatory forests.
“I am excited to be here to witness the transformation that has happened in this place, thanks to our partnership with Delight Uganda. We are celebrating the founders of Delight Uganda, local authority and the community for embracing the project and making it work. But more importantly, we are celebrating giving value to primary products such as fruits and crops so that our people can earn a living and transform their communities,” Mr Stephen Asiimwe, the PSFU Chief Executive Officer said.
He added: “Over 75 per cent of Uganda’s population is below 35 years and looking for jobs and income to sustain their livelihood. This project was designed to address these challenges. With the success we have had in Nwoya district, we commit to continue working with more sustainable and transformative Lead Firms across Northern Uganda and West Nile to further transform our people and their communities. PSFU interventions that are supporting young people include – BUDS, SDF, SG+, UNDP (Gender Seal), and GROW, Lead Firm Structure (LFS) and CERRRP.”
On behalf of the Delight Uganda proprietors, Dr. Julian Adyeri, the chief executive officer noted that the project that sits on two square miles in Anaka, Nwoya district now supports a community school, fruits & trees nurseries, and cereals plantations, in addition to dormitories, irrigation schemes and silos storage facilities.
“We thank PSFU and Mastercard Foundation for this intervention. The hundreds of young women and men that have benefited from this project continue to transform their communities in different ways. We nonetheless acknowledge that this is just the start and much more deliberate efforts must be implemented if our country is to achieve total transformation,” Dr. Adyeri said.
Minus, the over 6,000 job opportunities created by this project, Delight Uganda has a skilling institute where 12,167 (71 per cent being women) have received practical/hands-on trainings on selected business development modules.
Twenty-Six-year-old Milly Oroma, one of the direct beneficiaries from this project testified that the knowledge she attained from the Delight Uganda project has transformed her from a poor single mother into a confident, self-sustaining and productive business lady.
“I am now able to take care of myself, pay my kid’s school fees, support my parents and live calmly without worry about what to eat tomorrow. My dream is to become as successful as Dr. Adyeri and create opportunities for hundreds of youth that are suffering like I used to,” Oroma said.
The Guest of Honour, Col. Charles Okello Engola, the state minister for Labour and Gender applauded Delight Uganda, PSFU and Mastercard Foundation for their contribution to Uganda’s economic transformation. He pledged the government’s support towards interventions aimed at addressing unemployment and closing the poverty gap.
“We are all inspired by how Dr. Adyeri and her team have transformed this place from a poor unknown village into an income-generating hub. The impact this project has had on young people is wonderful. The Nwoya youth are very lucky for this project. We now need to recreate similar projects across the country. As government, we are ready to partner with all stakeholders on matters of youth empowerment, jobs creation and poverty alleviation. We are committed to creating a conducive working environment for our Youth and Women.”
Apollo Muyanja Mbaziira, the LFS Project Director noted that the more than 6000 jobs created in Nwoya are part of the at-least 90,000 opportunities that the LFS project has so far created across Uganda. He noted that the target is the create at-least 300,000 dignified and meaningful job opportunities by the end of 2025.