By Adam Luzindana Buyinza
Kampala: More than 78% of Uganda’s population is below the age of 30 and youth challenges are enormous. While 78% of people in Uganda are youth, the country has no formidable independent Ministry or empowered authority to manage and coordinate the affairs of the young people to boost youth prosperity.
Poverty as well as hopelessness of the youth has forced many to Middle East countries to work as housemaids, etc. It’s these young Ugandans abroad now dominating the social media to rise up against the Government of President Museveni.
The Emyooga won’t achieve much for as long as it’s operating as a political mobilization group.
The Operation Wealth Creation (OWC) which had tried to identify, engage and empower youth for prosperity is facing resistance from politicians and technical people but it is also too big to conceptualize youth affairs and it’s not well streamlined legally yet its management is committed to a transformed and empowered youth. The OWC must be institutionalized and detached from the Ministry of Agriculture or National Agricultural Advisory Services (NAADS) if it’s to succeed in its programs.
The poor coordination and management of youth affairs in Uganda is responsible for the high unemployment rate for young people especially those who have formal education and live in urban areas.
Youth unemployment poses a serious political, economic, and social challenge to the country and its leadership. The cycle is making it increasingly difficult for Uganda to break out of poverty.
Informal sector work accounts for the majority of young workers in Uganda in which 3.2% of youth work for waged employment while 90.9% work for informal employment yet no government institution is effectively coordinating the sector. The youth in the informal sector is not supported by the Government while the youth employed in Industries are exploited by employers and you expect youth celebrates the NRM Government. This is the reason why youth are now rising up against the Leadership of the Government of Uganda.
Creation of a Ministry of Youth Affairs or a National Youth Authority.
Having conceptualized the background above, I believe it’s high time that I humbly request President Museveni through Cabinet to create an independent fully-fledged Ministry of Youth Affairs or an Uganda National Youth Authority to among others focus on;
-Implementing a holistic Development oriented National Youth Policy
-Youth Identification and Organization
-Education & Skills Training
-Empowering Youth in Modern Agriculture
-Research and Innovation
-Promote Youth Empowerment
-Mainstream Youth in National Development
-Harnessing and Development Youth -Talents for National Development
-Managing and Promoting Engagement with Youth for National Development
-Collaborating and -Overseeing stakeholders engaged in Youth Promoting Activities
The structure of the Ministry of Youth Affairs or an autonomous National Youth Authority must be empowered enough to serve the youth of Uganda. A ministry must have its own vibrant Technical Team as well as the Political Leadership. It must have a well-structured Regional Leadership to be able to serve the youth interests depending on where they come from.
This ministry must limit bureaucratic tendencies and focus on strategically engaging young people into development-oriented activities. The Ministry or authority must ably coordinate with Government agencies as well as ministries and authorities to enable youth access opportunities.
There is therefore need for a formidable youth institution that can coordinate and support the Youth to prepare for, negotiate and explore the opportunities and demands of their passage to adulthood. It’s, therefore, my call to President Museveni, the Government officials and all stakeholders to make a concerted effort to plan, implement, monitor, evaluate and strengthen activities of the youth with the youth or possibly with officials with a passion to serve the youth for prosperity.
Lastly, the Ministry will lead to the social-economic transformation of Uganda and it will effectively;
1.Organize the youth of Uganda in a unified body.
2.Engage the youth in activities that are of benefit to them and the nation.
3.Protect the youth against any kind of manipulation
4.Inspire and promote youth a spirit of unity and national consciousness
5.Provide a unified and integrated system through which the youth may communicate and coordinate their ideas and activities
6.Establish channels through which economic and social services amenities may reach the youth in all areas of Uganda
7.Encourage the youth to consolidate their role in national development in the economic, social, cultural and educational fields
8.Initiate and encourage the formation of youth organizations and to facilitate communication among them
9.Promote relations between youth organizations in Uganda and international youth organizations and other bodies with similar objects or interests
Uganda is at a time bomb if the Youth Complex Challenges are not addressed.
Luzindana Adam Buyinza is a Team Leader of Public Opinions and Former member of the National Executive Council (NEC) of NRM where he served as elected National Vice Chairman in Charge of Kampala Region of the National Resistance Movement (NRM).