Although young people represent a bigger percentage in Uganda, most of them have been left behind in most of the government programs. This at some point has stagnated the promotion of technology and innovation in the country.
According to Dr. Diana Ntamu, the Director Entrepreneurship Centre from Makerere University Business School (MUBS), the mentality of wanting to be employed among the youth, lack of funding from government has made even those with good innovative ideas to abandon them.
While giving her keynote address during the second day of Kampala Innovation Week on Tuesday, Dr. Diana revealed that since innovative entrepreneurship requires alot of time to develop ideas, master the challenges and how some systems such as market work, most young people have abandoned it because they need quick money.
“The attitude of being employed combined with financial constraints is something that is hindering young people to take advantage of entrepreneurial opportunities and this has become a very big problem in Uganda. The question that must be addressed is what is this that is affecting our young people who show resilience and vigour but along the way, they lose hope and abandon their great and rich ideas,” she said.
Dr Diana also mentioned that the problem of the digital divide in Uganda and the entire East Africa region has allowed only a few young entrepreneurs who utilize technology to come out with ideas and access markets.
“Also there is a problem of legal constraints, a number of our young people have brilliant ideas but they feel that the laws in place do not protect them, therefore they have failed to work with good networks which would have promoted them. They fear that their ideas would be to stolen by those with bigger connections and money, they fail to seek support.”
“We need to develop capacities of institutions that help young innovators, MUBS and other Universities may be doing it but we need to understand what we need to give our young people and how prepared are we to do that. By doing this we shall help them to connect to partners. There is also a need for a policy and pragmatic support from the government because this will strengthen the soft nets for the young startups and small businesses.”
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