By Andrew Irumba
KAMPALA: Yearning Voices Foundation-Uganda (YVF), in conjunction with The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), CEWARN, Pan-African Movement and Pan-African Pyramid Wednesday launched the 2019 Sustainable Peace and Security Youth Campaign aimed at continental strategy for youth involvement in peace building and creative development in Africa.
The annual campaign is also premised on empowering the youth within the region and beyond on Pan-Africanism and the fast-tracking of the African Union’s (AU) Agenda 2063.
Officiating at the launch, the 2nd Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for East African Community Affairs Ali Kirunda Kivejinja asked the young people to fully get involved in promotion of true Pan-African ideals in order to revive the its glory and good intentions our forefathers in the struggle.
“Africa was enslaved for 400 years and colonized for over 100 years, but it managed to chase away European colonizers by organizing around Pan-Africanism, that saw spirited Africans fight for the black world selflessly. The generation of Martine Luther, Carl Max, Dubois, etc came and went, my generation came, now we’re handing over to you the young people, please stick to the true values of Pan-Africanism, patriotism and Nationalism,” said Kivejinja.
Kivejinja said that Africa is now “re-awakening” and it needs initiatives of this kind to fast-track the African agenda.
He also emphasized the need for the youth to occupy spaces for constructive “activism”.
In attendance was Antonio Pubillones Izaguile, the Cuban ambassador to Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi who reminded the participants of Cuba’s contribution to the independence struggles and peace in Africa.
He urged the African young generation of leaders and activists to invest more in International solidarity in order to achieve peace and save the continent from being re-colonized.
He noted that peace is a great commodity which everyone needs but it has to be promoted and sustained by youth.
NRM’s Vice Chairman for Eastern Uganda, Capt. Gorge Mike Mukula, who is also the patron of the Pan African Movement-Uganda Chapter, noted that for the past years, Africa has been filled with conflicts, making the black world a place of despair, Uganda in particular.
“Out of the 33 Years of NRM in power, 30 years have been for fighting different rebel groups which include LRA, FOBA, ADF, etc. The government has also been pursuing peace in Somalia, South Sudan, DRC, etc. Although all these wars have been won by NRM,we could have used that time and resources in more developmental matters for the good of the country,” Mukula said.
He also explained that the Karamojong alone had about 80,000 guns, the biggest number for any insurgency group to own in Uganda, but Government managed to disarm them.
Mukula commended the UPDF for bringing and maintaining peace throughout the borders of the country and its neighbours through pan Africanism.
Other distinguished guests in attendance included AU and IGAD, making it 98 participants from Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, DRC, Burundi and Tanzania.