Log in
Updated minutes ago

Multimedia skills combating unemployment in Masaka

Trainees attending a content creation class as part of the digital skills training in Lwengo district

Trainees attending a content creation class as part of the digital skills training in Lwengo district

Government’s efforts to boost incomes among youths is gaining traction in greater Masaka after more than 500 got skilled in using multimedia to combat unemployment, writes ADAM WALUSIMBI.

Recently at the Kyazanga town council headquarters in Lwengo district in greater Masaka, trainees paid attention to every detail as their trainers explained how to design a graphics poster for marketing a product using the free smartphone app, Canva.

From colour selection, font selection, image placement and integration, the trainees followed along on their smartphones, creating designs unique to their business ideas. One of the trainees was Ernest Kaitare, a senior six-leaver who recently took up poultry farming to raise funds for university tuition fees.

At the end of the session, Kaitare’s poster design featured pictures of a chicken and eggs with text that reads “20 per cent Eid Discount on all products. Order Today.”

Kaitare’s strategy aimed to increase sales during the Eid Al-Adha celebrations that was held on June 16, 2024, when Muslims celebrated by sacrificing animals and holding feasts. Once completed, Kaitare intended to share the poster on social media, print and distribute posters and flyers in Kyazanga, which has a large Muslim community.

Kaitare was one of the youths from five selected districts in the greater Masaka region who were trained as part of the digital skilling program of the Uganda Communications Commission under the Uganda Communications Universal Service and Access Fund (UCUSAF).

The skilling program, implemented in partnership with Prime Time Communications, is aimed at enabling youth to create and find sustainable jobs. Looking back, Kaitare says the training has been an eye-opener, especially on how the use of free mobile applications that include Adobe Express, Kine Master, Canva and TikTok, among others, could help expand his customer base and boost sales online.

With the skills acquired from the training, Hadijjah Nanteza will enhance her work as a general merchandise salesperson by using short videos and multimedia content. This would allow her to share videos and pictures of her products, expanding her customer base beyond Kyazanga and increasing her commissions, without the need to travel from house to house.

In Kalungu district, trainee Winfred Nalusiba described the digital training as ‘eye-opening’ in regards to the mobile apps she often overlooked on her phone.

“We learned how to effectively use Google Meet to connect with other people. As a caterer and event planner, I can now plan efficiently with clients even when we are not in the same location, using video to show them the various decorations and meal options,” Nalusiba said.

Cyrus Miller Bugembe, a trainee from Kalungu, who has always used TikTok for socializing, now plans to venture into social media influencing, thanks to the videography and social media skills acquired during the training.

Speaking to trainees at the Mateete sub-county headquarters in Sembabule district, James Beronda, the UCUSAF director, commended the youths for their enthusiasm in acquiring new skills which would enable them to earn extra income using their smartphones.

Beronda emphasized the importance of using the skills acquired during the training to generate income using their smartphones, instead of using them for non-productive activities. He reaffirmed UCC’s commitment to supporting digital skills acquisition to boost youth incomes and combat unemployment in Uganda.

Susan Nakanwagi, the UCUSAF technical manager, said the digital skilling program, currently in its third year, will be extended to include more underserved districts in the 2025/2026 financial year due to its significant impact and success among targeted youth. Nakanwagi confirmed that many young people in these districts have had smartphones for a long time but lacked the skills and knowledge to use them effectively to improve their livelihoods.

Comments are now closed for this entry