EDINBURGH-based Challenges Group has teamed up with banking giant Standard Chartered to deliver a youth-employability programme in Uganda.

International development consultancy Challenges said the “Youth-to-Work” initiative, launched yesterday in Kampala, would support young adults into professional training, while also nurturing small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to offer secure and well-paid professional jobs. It added that the programme, valued at 300 million Ugandan Shillings (£66,400), “intends to have far-reaching impact across both business and wider youth communities”.

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Challenges, which also has offices in six countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, and Standard Chartered noted the programme would “benefit 40 young and enthusiastic out-of-university youths”. Through a three-month training programme, the young Ugandans will be able to develop and refine their skills, work with inspiring entrepreneurs, acquire a level-five certificate from the Chartered Management Institute and help drive the business performance of an SME.

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Neil Fleming, director of Challenges Group, said: “We are taking Challenges’ experience of delivering development and business-growth projects, combining it with our on-the-ground knowledge and networks in Kampala and the UK to provide an initiative that will help 40 firms and young people directly, while also acting as a catalyst for wider growth within Kampala’s business community and supporting hundreds of university students.

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“Each of these young adults will also be provided [with] additional training so they can then take their knowledge, experience and new-found expertise and share it with hundreds of other ambitious young Ugandans who will be entering the labour market in the years ahead. Uganda, like many other African countries, is facing a crisis in regards youth unemployment.”