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Poverty is a significant challenge in many parts of the world, including Kaabong District in Uganda. With high levels of unemployment and limited access to quality education, the cycle of poverty seems unbreakable in this area. To address this issue, there is a growing need to focus on skilling the youth in Kaabong and this involves providing training and education programs that equip young people with the skills and knowledge they need to succeed in the modern economy. Kaabong District, located in the Karamoja region of northeastern Uganda, faces numerous hurdles in its journey towards eradication of poverty. The region is characterized by a predominantly pastoralist community, with limited access to basic social services such as education and healthcare whereby locals primarily depends on subsistence farming and livestock rearing, both of which are highly vulnerable to climate change and other external factors. These factors, combined with a lack of skills and training, contribute to the perpetuation of poverty within the district. One of the key ways to break this cycle is by prioritizing skilling initiatives, by investing in skilling programs, the district can empower individuals to become more self-reliant and economically independent. The first step towards skilling the youth in Kaabong is to ensure that they have access to quality skills that are in high demand within the labor market. For example, training in agriculture can enable farmers to enhance their productivity and boost their income. Similarly, technical skills in sectors such as construction and hospitality can open doors to employment in these industries. By creating a skilled workforce, Kaabong District can attract potential investors and promote economic growth. Additionally, with a heavy reliance on subsistence farming and livestock rearing, the district is susceptible to the risks associated with fluctuations in agricultural production; therefore by providing training in sectors other than agriculture, individuals can explore alternative sources of income. This diversification reduces their vulnerability to shocks, ultimately improving their livelihoods However, to make skilling initiatives effective, skilling programs should align with the needs of the local labor market, therefore conducting labor market assessments and designing training programs accordingly will help ensure that individuals are being equipped with skills that are in demand. Furthermore, skilling initiatives should also be complemented with efforts to improve access to finance and create an enabling environment for businesses, by providing individuals with access to capital and resources, they can effectively utilize their skills to start and grow their businesses. Skilling has the potential to be a powerful instrument in the fight against poverty in Kaabong district; therefore, Government should focus more on investing in skilling initiatives to make Kaabong a diversified and sustainable district. Read more: https://www.monitor.co.ug/uganda/oped/commentary/invest-more-in-skilling-initiatives-in-kaabong-4298724 Shadia Nakazibwe, Program Assistant at proven Foundation nakazibweshadia61@gmail.com

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