INCLUDE Platform

Maggie Kigozi

TITLE: Platform member
SPECIALISATION: industrial development, women entrepreneurship, entrepreneurship skills training

Maggie Kigozi is a consultant at the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and a fellow of the African Leadership Initiative of the Aspen Institute. She is a medical doctor by profession and practiced medicine in Uganda, Kenya and Zambia. Maggie moved to the private sector in 1994 as Marketing Director of Crown Bottlers (Pepsi) Ltd. In 1999 she was appointed Executive Director of the Uganda Investment Authority (UIA), a position she held for over eleven years. She is the founder of the UIA Women Entrepreneurs network. Realizing that local investors were failing to grow their businesses or attract joint ventures or credit, Maggie also set up a team consisting of the Makerere University Business School, the Management Training and Advisory Centre, the Uganda Women Entrepreneurs Association and UIA to provide entrepreneurship skills training.

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Question of the Week 8 2016-08-25 19:49:29
In Uganda, I think business is not optional. We have about 300000 graduates from the various tertiary institutions every year. Only about 50000 will find a job. Government and private sector employ workers on contract basis. Many contracts are not renewed. The pension schemes are not comprehensive and the retirement age of 55 means pensioners cannot live on their pensions and must also start a business. I beleive all students should be trained in entrepreneurship skills, financial literacy and specific sectoral skills like agriculture from primary school. A large percentage of students drop out at this level and will therefore have an opportunity to start their own businesses.

Government must ensure that the curricula includes entrepreneurship skills from primary school to university. Government must also sensitise students about how useful business is in that it creates jobs, collects taxes and produces products useful to the community. Government must partner with private sector to provide company visits and internship opportunities in private enterprises. Successful entrepreneurs in communities must be showcased and offer to mentor the youth. Young business owners must be encouraged to share and train the students as peer to peer education does seem to be more effective.