Keynote message by Hon. Janet K. Museveni, The 1st Lady and Minister of Education & Sports.
I am delighted to be part of this convention and to speak to you on opportunities for investment in Uganda’s education and sport sector. First, I must assure you that the government of Uganda recognises the importance of education and economic growth and development and has positioned it high on its national development plan. It is well appreciated that when the workforce is well informed, skilled and empowered, it directly impacts economic growth and development in all sectors.
Human Capital Development is recognised as the cornerstone upon which the economy of any country is established. And therefore, government has continuously allocated a reasonable share of the national budget with a sector to ensure appropriate supply of human resources for the country’s development.
Generally, Uganda’s education system is appreciated and Uganda is a learning destination for many international students. Let me now speak about the advantages of this partnership.
- First, Uganda’s education system is based on the British system, which is a strength to take advantage of, in this UK Uganda partnership, because UK, first established Uganda as education when it was in charge of Uganda’s administration.
- Second, the medium of instruction at origins institutions is English, which is also the official language of Uganda. And communication in this partnership is not a problem at all, as I’m sure many of you know.
- Thirdly, there is a conducive climate, for study and business throughout the year, and a stable political environment that strongly supports trade and investment on projects and activities in the education and sport sector, among others.
- Fourthly, Uganda’s growing population is high and so provides a large consumer base for investment in the education sector.
Therefore, in this partnership, I have no doubt in my mind that we can take advantage of several investment opportunities available at all levels of education.
Some of these opportunities include:
- Establishing institutions
- Provision of instructional materials
- Provision of ICT services, training of teacher’s provision of consultancy services, transportation of learners, scholarships, and exchange programmes, and many other programmes such as those.
Uganda is promoting science, technology and innovation at all levels of education. And this area requires investment in research, that laboratories and appropriate human resource. Now, at pre-primary level, government does not own any pre-primary schools. Pre-primary education is currently offered by the private sector providers, and government only provides a regulatory framework, training, registration of the teachers and caregivers and support supervision. The private sector has taken a leading role, which is appreciated by government. And indeed, this is a very virgin area for investment in the education sector.
At primary level, Uganda embraced universal primary education in 1997. And since then, primary school children have had the opportunity to study free of charge. These policy initiatives place a burden on the existing facilities. But over the years, government has improved this situation greatly. Today, most schools have good infrastructure, but some have inadequate infrastructure where others require rehabilitation.
A country’s population is growing, and more children are yet to enrol. Despite the free government education, there are still many private primary schools in the country, and there is demand for more places. Many parents still take their children to private schools for several reasons. Investment opportunities are therefore still available in this sub sector.
At secondary level, government is implementing the universal secondary education also. That policy was introduced from 2007, which also placed a huge burden on the available infrastructure and to date, the demand for access is much more than available capacity. There are very many private schools that have been established and still cannot even absorb all those who qualify for secondary education. Some of the schools are over enrolled, and many others are in need of quality improvement. Investment opportunities exist in this area, and systems are in place to support investment.
There is an efficient system in place for licencing and registration of schools. Teachers are readily available, there is a national curriculum, and schools are monitored and provided with support supervision to ensure compliance to the set standards.
Technical and Vocational Education and Training: this sub sector prepares technicians for the world of work. Technical and vocational education and training institutions play a vital role in the absorption of primary and secondary school graduates who prefer to be at hands-on technical education rather than on the academic education. There are several public and private institutions across the country offering skills training at both certificate and diploma levels. Enrolments are rising and there are enormous opportunities for investment in this area. The demand for skills training is not exhausted, mainly because of the size of investment required. And many skills training areas in demand have remained and attended to, so there is need for a strong public private partnership. Government of Uganda has given priority attention to skilling all Ugandans in order to produce the skilled workforce needed for development. The private sector has become very active in this area. There is still room for investment.
Our university education: there has been notable growth in the number of universities from one university in 1988, to now 54 universities in 2020. 44 of these are private universities while 10 are public. Enrolments have increased year by year and available evidence clearly shows that there is a capacity gap that needs to be addressed.
Again, investment opportunities are available not only for increased access, but also for competition and affordability, which provides effectiveness in the system. There is room for establishing quality universities because there are so many students who qualify to join university education, but are unable because of limited space currently available.
Also because of affordable and relevant education curriculum in Uganda, many foreign students from the region are studying in Uganda, and this calls for more investment to expand the current student residential facilities. Therefore, investment opportunities are available in this area.
Physical education and sports: As you probably know now, Uganda has awareness of talents in games and sports and the government is establishing sports stadia to promote development of these talents. It is now home to world medallists such as Joshua Cheptegei, Jacob Kiplimo, and many others. There is still great need to invest in international sport stadia, in identification and promotion of talent, set up sports academies, industries for sports equipment and garments and training coaches. This is also a virgin area for investment.
Consultancies: Uganda is a developing country and aspires to attain middle income status in the next few years. As we prepare the human resource, we are eager to share, learn and also benefit from exchange of expert knowledge between our countries. Consultancy is a growing area of business and opportunities exist with respect to the provision of specialised education and skill services requiring managerial and technical experts. This is also a virgin area of investment for those who are interested.
Information and communication technology: this is another area of investment that has drawn so much attention. In the recent past, especially promoting ICT enabled education and training at all levels. COVID-19 disrupted education systems globally. And in Uganda, we had to close down for nearly two years. Countries that had advanced technologies continued to study online, but we could not because of limited ICT infrastructure. We now need to avoid future total shutdowns of the sector by investing in ICT and e-learning. This requires huge investment and is currently a virgin area for investment.
Furthermore, because of great impact of technological advancement, on personal and business lives, many Ugandans are finding themselves in need of having their employees trained in the use of ICT tools. And also, job seekers find that they need to have computer knowledge before they can be considered for jobs. All these present enormous opportunities for investment in ICT training.
As I conclude, let me emphasise that Uganda provides a conducive environment for investment. And I’d like to thank you for inviting me to share investment opportunities available in the education and sport sector. It is my hope and prayer that we will work together to promote investment in this sector, to reap its benefits for economic development of Uganda. I look forward to the future of this partnership. And I wish you a very fruitful convention. Thank you and God bless you.
Contacts: Ministry of Education & Sports
P. O. BOX 7063 Kampala, Uganda King George VI Way, Embassy House, Uganda
Legacy Towers, Nakasero, Kyadondo Road, Block A And B
0417 893 600 (General) | 0417 893 615 (P.R.O) | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org