Entrepreneurship is today acknowledged as one of the key drivers of economic change all over the world, Ugandan First Lady and Minister for Education and Sports, Janet Museveni has said.
While speaking at Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda during the launch of Makerere University Business School Incubation and Innovation Centre, Museveni said that entrepreneurship involves starting businesses and producing goods or services that society requires.
“This process of a startup is also a process of job creation, income is generated. Entrepreneurship, therefore, is crucial in any economy. It is important to note, however, that entrepreneurship is driven by innovation. Innovation is the generation of ideas that finally lead to starting up of businesses.”
She added, “It is for this reason that the Ministry of Education and Sports supported the establishment of incubators in Public Universities. The Minister appreciates the partnership of African Development Bank which has supported entrepreneurship development in Uganda.”
She said universities have researchers who generate ideas and need to transform these ideas into products and services.
“This process for transforming ideas into products is what is popularly known as incubation. Incubation involves nurturing these ideas and finally turning them into products and services. Therefore, I was pleased to learn that MUBS had planned to launch its incubation activities and also open the Incubation Centre Building,” said the Ugandan First Lady.
She said Ugandan Government has a large number of young people who are unemployed including graduates. “Without jobs and incomes, these young people are a burden to the economy. Therefore, this initiative is timely because it will contribute to solving the unemployment challenge. MUBS pioneered the teaching of entrepreneurship in the early 1990s and I have been informed that the school has formal academic programmes including diplomas, undergraduates and master’s degrees in entrepreneurship,” Museveni said.
In a speech read on behalf of MKU Founder and Board of Directors Chairman, Prof. Simon Nyutu Gicharu by MKU Council Vice Chairman, Dr. Vincent Gichuru Gaitho, Prof. Gicharu urged Africa to train its young people on entrepreneurship so that they develop the requisite mindset that will enable them to see opportunities available in Africa, thus discourage them from risking their lives while going to seek “greener pastures” in foreign countries.
Prof. Gicharu said that Africa should help the youth to strive to harness the abundant opportunities available in the Continent. “With an entrepreneurial mind-set, the youth in Africa will become competitive and get to belief in themselves and become active job and wealth creators for socio-economic growth of our great Continent.”
He said it was unfortunate that many young people lose their lives in Africa while trying to migrate to Europe via the Mediterranean Sea.
“Many of these African youths are swept-off as they use crude transport means to cross the vast Sea. But why do these persons try to run away from their motherland? The reason is because their potential entrepreneurial skills have not been developed, they are dormant,” the Chairman said.
He added, “We are all aware about the infinite resources available in Africa. Unfortunately, these youth due to lack of guidance, they do not see these opportunities. At the same time, many other foreign nationalities are flocking into Africa to take advantage of the available resources. What is the implication in this? The implication is that we, therefore, need to train our young people on entrepreneurship so that they develop the requisite mindset that enables them to see opportunities and strive to harness the abundant opportunities available in Africa.”
He said that MKU and MUBS have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to undertake a joint project that will help hundreds of young people in East Africa to embrace job creation.
The MKU-MUBS East Africa Business plan competition will see the winners come to this centre which we are launching today for further training and to get funding.
“I am happy to reiterate that I have pledged to Makerere University Business School a donation of USD 6000 towards the project. We are, therefore very sure that, this new initiative will be of significant impact in East Africa and more countries across the continent will be able to emulate it,” said Prof. Simon Gicharu.
Prof. Simon Gicharu said the success of the said MKU-MUBS East Africa Business Plan competition will be best achieved when many stakeholders come on board especially as sponsors and therefore we invite the industry and philanthropists to join this unique initiative.
The occasion was among others attended by Eng. Isaac Ngobya, Chairman, University Council, Makerere University Business School, Prof. Waswa Balunywa, Principal, Makerere University Business School (MUBS).