Uganda: Prioritize youth interests, Members of Parliament tell gov’t
The Northern Uganda Youth Representative, Hon. Boniface Okot has in a motion supported by Members of Parliament urged government to calibrate all its interventions to uplift the life of youths in the country.
Ahead of the National Youth Day celebrations in Gulu on Friday, 12 August 2022, Okot said there is need to fundamentally address challenges facing youth in Uganda.
“…there is Iimited structured government support and policies for start-ups, science and technology-based innovations and initiatives that have the potential of transforming lives and providing local solutions and creating employment for the youth,” said Okot.
He suggested a solution, which the House adopted.
“…be it resolved by this Parliament that, government scales up interventions for youth in skilling, employment and livelihoods by amongst others, ensuring that all forms of financing are significant, accessible, and affordable with a dedicated and ring-fenced quota for youth,” he said.
Amuru District Woman MP, Hon. Lucy Akello said there are many global interventions from which government can borrow a leaf and implement in Uganda.
“As a country, if we go in the line of giving 30 per cent of our contracts to the youth, then we can go very far; promoting real incubating centres [for youth businesses] using the Shanghai model, these are things we should consider,” she said.
For Hon. Dorcus Acen (NRM, Alebtong District), the focus should be on female youth, whose shoulders she said carry the heavier burden.
“As we talk about commemorating the International Youth Day, we know that the female youth …majority are child mothers suffering with teenage pregnancies. We have to ensure we offer them multi-sectoral services in this country,” she said.
Hon. Flavia Kabahenda (NRM, Kyegegwa District) wants a change in strategy on tackling youth challenges having in mind challenges like electricity and interest rates.
“The young people in Uganda require a strategy that is not business as usual,” she said, asking government to widen their focus to cover rural youth too.
The Minister of Gender, Labour and Social Development. Hon. Betty Amongi, under whose docket youth issues fall, said government has already rolled out several programmes to alleviate poverty among the young people, and said focus will be on skilling programs.
“The green job is a programme under the Ministry of Gender Labour and Social Development which provides equipment to jua kali(informal craftspeople) groups…it also undertakes skilling, technical and learning. We want to make it a constituency based intervention but the Shs4 billion we have been given has not been enough,” she said.
Speaker Anita Among asked her to present a brief to Parliament on the skilling programme with details of areas where it has successfully been implemented.
“You need to bring a comprehensive report on green jobs; we want to know which constituencies and districts have benefited. We need to know this next week before you start using the Shs2 billion which you have been allocated,” she said.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Parliament of the Republic of Uganda.