UNIDO using virtual solutions to complete inception phase for the Equipment Operator Training Centre in Uganda during COVID-19 lockdown
Kampala, 13 May 2020 – The Government of Japan, the Ministry of Works and Transport (MoWT) and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), with technical support from Japanese partner Komatsu Ltd., will establish a training centre for operators of road construction equipment in Luwero, Uganda.
In recent years, the Government of Uganda has procured road construction and maintenance equipment that was distributed to local district governments across the country; and the new training centre will allow matching the investment in road machinery with an equivalent investment in human resources: within the next three years, the training centre will train at least 50 MoWT instructors, 360 MoWT and local district government operators, and over 80 young Ugandans seeking employment. The project supports “Uganda Vision 2040” and focuses in particular on bridging the skills gap so that skilled Ugandans can build, maintain, and improve the country’s road infrastructure.
On May 13, the project’s first Project Steering Meeting was held at MoWT in Kampala via videoconference due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It convened participants from all project partners joining in from Tokyo, Nairobi, Brussels, and Vienna and was the first videoconference meeting for MoWT staff.
In the inception phase, the project completed a thorough Training Needs Assessment to analyze the detailed skills gaps and precise labor market needs for operators in Uganda, completed a Monitoring & Evaluation (M&E) workshop, and laid the groundwork for the successful construction of the centre in the coming months.
The meeting was chaired by the Permanent Secretary of the MoWT, Mr. Bageya Waiswa, who underlined the project’s ambition to build a center of excellence for Uganda.
The Ambassador of Japan to Uganda, His Excellency Kazuki Kameda, joined the meeting virtually from Tokyo and commended the progress of the project and its ability to continue despite the COVID-related lockdown in Uganda.
Mr. Kenji Yoshida from the Komatsu Liaison Office in Nairobi also approved the project’s progress and said that he is looking forward to having the country’s first operator training centre.
Mr. Bruno Otto Tokwiny, UNIDO Country Representative in Uganda, thanked the project partners for their teamwork and underlined UNIDO’s experience as a trusted convener of public, private and development stakeholders and implementer of Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) projects that aim to bridge the industrial skills gap in Africa.