By Peter Ssebulime
Kampala: Fred Ngabirano the Commissioner of Youths and Children affairs in the Ministry of Gender Labour and Social Development has urged youths to embrace agriculture and ICT innovative creativity as a tool to fight against unemployment in Uganda.
Ngabirano made these remarks during the launch of the National Youths Manifesto of 2021-2026 organised by various Civil Society Organisations including Youth Coalition on Electoral Democracy, Action Aid, African Youths Development Link, Open Space, Uganda Youth Network an event that was held at Fairway Hotel in Kampala.
According to organizers, the aim of the youth manifesto is to highlight key policy priorities/demands by youths to government, political parties and candidates ahead of and beyond the 2021 general elections.
Ngabirano noted that Agriculture and ICT are the leading sources of income if they are well managed hence urging youth to value them to change their future instead of running behind politicians.
He added that youths should be creative and innovative while putting into practice what they have studied from various institutions to enhance their incomes and employment generation and desist from being spoon-fed.
He also disclosed that currently, Uganda’s national unemployment rate is at 9.2% whereas the youths unemployment rate among those aged between 18-30 years is 13.4% saying that all this can be curbed by innovation and creativity among youths.
Ngabirano on the other hand, urged parents to get back to their role of effective parenting saying this has a huge impact on the growth of children something that can boost their future opportunities.
According to the youth, we managed to speak to from various organisations including Nakato Rehema Ssessimba who is the Board Director at Restless Development and programs assistant at Open Space Center asked the Ministry of Education to adopt and implement a menstrual health policy for girls in primary and secondary schools.
“Ministry should provide free sanitary pads to all deserving girls, to popularize the free skills training opportunities available in institutions and also adopt and implement school ICT policy through which each student at secondary school level should receive a free laptop.” she added
Not only that but Rehema believes, “Sports participation has a positive impact on youth development because it creates skills convertible into physical capital, improves health, fitness, and overall of physical well being, increases self-confidence/esteem and positive body image and builds character in the form of discipline, teamwork and responsibility.”
Commenting on the health sector, youth expressed the concern of lack of access to effective services like sexual and reproductive health information and education by the sexually active adolescent girls saying that only 21% of the current married girls aged 15-19 years are using modern contraception with the unmet need for family planning at 30.4%.
Among the participants were the representatives from political parties like NUP, DP, ANT, and FDC that was represented by Halord Kaija who deliberately noted that youth have been left out in decision making because even their representatives do not table their issues on the floor of parliament, adding that this is because the process through which youth MPs are elected through electoral college is dubious.