Fellow youth, I call you partners in crime, comrades, and facilitators of middle-income status. Gone, now, are the days of colonialism, where the colour of one’s skin tone dictated what socio-economic section they would be categorized in and our own resources were used after being permitted by the white man to do so. We are now a very grown-up nation with innovative minds that can create a number of products.
With the knowledge and wisdom given to us from above, we are now empowered to rule our native land and also be innovative to deal with the unemployment bottleneck amongst the youth. We, a small nation, working together hand in hand with patience, wisdom, and courage can facilitate the growth of our economy, thus safeguarding our social welfare as a country. Every dark cloud has a silver lining, and so there is hope for the patriotic youth who wish well for their country and the leadership.
As we aspire to achieve the full-scale middle-income status envisioned in our National Development Plan II and Vision 2040, the need for a skilled workforce becomes a priority, especially for the many literate and illiterate youth, and this is the only way the youth can be wealthy.
Wealth creation is so important because it’s the only way we can stop being preoccupied with meeting our own basic needs and start empowering others to grow and create wealth of their own.
All around the world, there are three important basic resources: land, labour, and capital. Other resources include energy, expertise, information, entrepreneurship, management, and time. The Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) number eight (8) talks about increasing labour productivity, reducing unemployment rates, especially for young people, and improving access to financial services and benefits as essential components of sustained and inclusive economic growth.
The National Resistance Movement has at all times prioritized inclusiveness and support for the youth since they are stakeholders in nation-building. A number of programs have been introduced to help in mentoring, training, skilling, and equipping the youth to make sure that they are employed and can earn some reasonable income.
Substantial progress and gains are being made to prioritize the skilling of youth across the country. The government launched the Business Technical Vocational Education and Training (BTVET) Strategic Plan to champion skills development in the country, and this has been a success since its launch.
President Museveni has made it a top priority to combat unemployment by skilling and empowering the youth. Recently, over 1,000 female youths benefited from the Presidential Initiative on Skilling the Girl Child, and for now, the boychild has also been considered for the program, and they are also tapping into the opportunities being offered in skilling.
A number of youths have been trained to be mechanics, engineers, shoemakers, and garment makers, among other professions, increasing the country’s competitiveness globally. Currently, Uganda is taking advantage of locally produced materials on the international market.
President Museveni has been key in promoting competitive youth enterprises that provide key services to their communities. Youth receive entrepreneurship training and learn how to develop business plans for their start-ups, and I am personally happy that the Uganda Investment Authority and the young patriots, friends, and supporters of President Museveni have organized an investment symposium to share ideas about a number of opportunities that can help the youth thrive in this country.
Through such opportunities, many youths are thriving, and in turn, they are employing more youth who would otherwise have remained unemployed, which is good progress for the country and the president. I therefore think the symposium slated for Saturday, March 3, will be of great importance to the youth fraternity, and I hope it’s a free event where all youth of all kinds are invited, no matter the political affiliation, because at the end of the day, we are all aiming at being employed and attaining higher grounds.
I therefore suggest that the Uganda Investment Authority, through its available platforms, identify more driven youth in various communities, train them as entrepreneurs, and help them establish themselves as role models within their own communities, where they would teach and inspire others. Once this is implemented, I am very sure that it will help facilitate effective learning and the adoption of ideas and promote accountability among youth, who are now more inspired to see each other prosper.
We are the future leaders of this beautiful pearl of Africa, so let our voices be heard in all arenas because no one knows the struggles we face better than us, and we also need to work together with our dear government to make sure the country is peaceful. This is the only way we can do better for it because a peaceful environment can enable us to think big and be innovative, as we are the forests, as it is said that “EMITI EMITO KYEKIBIRA”.
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