L&T to provide vocational skills training to Ugandan youth

Kampala [Uganda]: Rahul Sikka, Larsen and Toubro’s Vice President and Head Africa Power Transmission and Distribution, has welcomed the decision to manufacture in Uganda with Indian skills and expertise, saying the local population needs to be empowered for long-term goals.

“I have been informed by my team in India that the Government of Uganda actually came to India to source an organization that could provide vocational skills. L&T has nine CSTIs i.e. Construction Skills Training Institutes (CSTI) and we have been shortlisted by the Ugandan Government and this is not known to everybody because it is still just happening. So, we will be providing the Vocational Skills Training and we believe very strongly that’s the way to go,” Sikka told ANI in an exclusive interview.

“Whichever country we should go as Indians we should believe that the local population needs to be empowered, needs to be included in anything and everything we do because that’s what’s long-term and that’s what sustains,” he added.

Responding to a poser on how is manufacturing placed to prosper here and compete with markets like China, Sikka said the objectives have to be set very clearly.

“When you manufacture in Uganda, are you intending to compete with China that’s the first question because sometimes that’s not necessary.

It’s actually necessary to identify which market you want to go into. If you have, for instance, preferential status given by EU, preferential status given to you by the United States, why are you interested in competing with China? China has got a very very advanced infrastructure today for manufacturing,” said Sikka.

“It is easier and better to set small achievable targets, goals and go achieve them. And of course this is all something which is progressive as time passes you end up doing better and better,” he added.

Talking about New Delhi’s contribution to the Ugandan economy, Sikka said the Indian diaspora that has stayed here has worked extremely hard and has truly been instrumental in the development of lot of aspects of the country.

“In addition to that, of course I see there is a very clear desire at this point in time to do more as the gentleman from the Ministry of Trade was pointing out there is a trade imbalance and we would love to rectify that. So, there are opportunities in India. It is in our interest to encourage our brothers in Uganda to take advantage of that,” he added.

Agreeing to expand cooperation in energy sector, Vice President Mohammed Hamid Ansari, on Wednesday, said both India and Uganda have decided to grow and scale new heights in future.

“We both (India and Uganda) have agreed to expand cooperation in energy sector as also in training of personnel for space programmes and peaceful uses of atomic energy,” said the Vice President.

Asserting that India has over the past few years emerged as one of the largest investors and trading partners of Uganda, Ansari said this has been possible due to the continuing and positive support of the Ugandan Government.

“I thank the Government of Uganda for welcoming Indian entrepreneurs who have sought business opportunities in Uganda and I request that the Ugandan Government continues with such support and encouragement for our companies seeking business in Uganda,” he said.

Earlier, Honorary Consul Consulate of the republic of Uganda Madhusudan Agrawal on Wednesday hailed the visit of Vice President Hamid Ansari to the African nation, saying his visit would pave the way for more business opportunities for the Indian community. (ANI)