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There is a high unemployment rate among young people in Uganda (83%, UBOS 2018). This is due to a significant skills gap and school dropouts. Many graduates (bachelors and masters) also struggle to find jobs due to limited skills. University curricula are too theoretical and not sufficiently aligned with the job market. Additionally, there is a need to attract more girls to pursue higher education.

The IUC (Interuniversity Cooperation), established by Vlir-UOS with VUB as the project manager on the Belgian side and MUST (Mbarara University of Science and Technology) on the Ugandan side, aims to build the capacity of teachers. The innovations developed within the university rarely reach the market, let alone create employment opportunities. Students themselves are not encouraged enough to be entrepreneurial. Entrepreneurship, as well as intrapreneurship, are concepts that need to be emphasized more in their education. Once they graduate, the goal is to empower the MARPs (Most At Risk Populations), especially in rural areas. There are 6 sub-projects within this IUC, the fifth one focusing on youth entrepreneurship is led by Howest.

In this context, an entrepreneurship center is being established, similar to the incubators at Howest. The grant will primarily be used for this part of the project.