Innovations emerge from NSSF-Monitor career expo

By Stephen Otage

Kampala- The annual National Social Security Fund (NSSF) and Monitor Publications Limited (MPL) Career Expo is beginning to bear fruits, mainly in the area of helping the young people appreciate the value of saving for the future and seeking career advancement opportunities.

It emerged that the partnership between NSSF and MPL has provided an opportunity to students to explore careers and gain information that can help them make informed career decisions as they prepare for a life after university. Some students have used the career expo to start income-generating activities.

Addressing students from Islamic University in Uganda (IUIU) in Mbale District on Friday, Mr Saleh Namenya, the chief executive officer of Casa Uganda Safaris, shared a thrilling story of a boy who is adding value to Malewa (the local tag for smoked bamboo shoot which is dried for preservation).

“He is a beneficiary of previous career expos. I bumped into other students recycling old shoes using kitenge, [a cotton fabric printed in various colours and designs with distinctive borders, used especially for women’s clothing]. There is another boy packaging coffee using locally available materials and all these guys are selling their products in my coffee shops to tourists,” Mr Namenya said.

He advised NSSF/MPL to document the impact of the previous career fairs and track the students innovations in the various districts.
Mr Namenya also advised the students to tap into the tourism sector, saying it has very many opportunities for making money with minimum effort provided.

“You do not need to create a game park. Nature provided them. Imbalu is the second largest carnival in the world, but what are you doing to improve it? Mt Elgon had the world’s second largest caldera, with 350 bird species but what have you done to inform the world?” Mr Namenya challenged the students.

The NSSF/MPL career expos targets 10 universities in the country. IUIU is the sixth university to benefit from this year’s annual universities career expo sponsored by Kampala Capital City Authority, Post Bank and Housing Finance Bank.

Mr Ben Bwayo, an official from Housing Finance Bank, advised IUIU students to harness benefits of technology specially analytics.
“Today many businesses rely on data which they can sell to companies,” he said.

“Do you know, for instance, the number of restaurants and hotels in Mbale Town and where they are located? Have you done the demographics in your village showing the different age groups of the population?” he asked students.

“This is the kind of information businesses are looking for to tailor their products to such segments of the population,” he added.
The annual expo is an initiative aimed at exposing university students to the workplace environment for those who want to seek employment or provide advice to those who want to go into entrepreneurship in what it takes to get there.
The career expo goes to Gulu University on Tuesday.

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