Breaking

Gulu Youths Reject Domestic Coffee Consumption Project

The youths argue that the project is shrouded in corruption, shoddy works, mismanagement and sectarianism. They are also challenging the criteria used to choose Inspire Africa as the implementing Franchise without the input of youth leaders in the region.
The Youth Went Rowdy During The Meeting

Audio 5

Youths in Gulu Town are up against the implementation of a pilot project to promote the domestic consumption of coffee in the area. The project, introduced as part of the third phase of the Northern Uganda Social Action Fund-NUSAF-III, is implemented by Inspire Africa, a Human Capital Development organization that works with young entrepreneurs.

But the youths argue that the project is shrouded in corruption, shoddy works, mismanagement and sectarianism. They are also challenging the criteria used to choose Inspire Africa as the implementing Franchise without the input of youth leaders in the region.

On Thursday, the youths disrupted a consultative meeting that was convened to introduce the project to youth leaders at Gulu district Council Hall. They demanded full accountability of the funds already spent in the project.

They asked the Office of the Prime Minister to probe the implementation of the project in view of steering it back on track if it is to benefit its intended beneficiaries, the youths who make up 68 percent of the population.

John Bosco Uhuru, a Youth Campaigner in Gulu district says they are suspicious that the project has been driven off track after the failure by the implementers to involve youth leaders in Gulu district.

//Cue in; "If it is a public Private…

Cue out…we don't need it."//

Uhuru told URN why they disrupted the meeting at Gulu district Council Hall with angry protests.

//Cue in; "Why are the youth not…

Cue out…anybody everywhere"//

Although Nelson Tugume, the CEO of Inspire Africa was present at the meeting, he was never allowed to speak to the rowdy youths. He told Journalists that the government supported the company with machinery to undertake youth training in Management of Coffee Franchises.

Tugume says under the Project, his company is mandated to construct mobile coffee shops, saloons and car washing bays where domestic coffee consumption can be encouraged. He says they have already set up a Coffee demonstration garden in Paicho Sub County in Gulu district to promote coffee growing in the area.

Alfred Odera, the NUSAF-III Operations Specialist in the Office of the Prime Minister acknowledges that several challenges have been registered in the implementation of the youth led project. He says Gulu district should have involved the youth leaders in the implementation of the project for them to understand how it would benefit them.

According to Odera, the Project is meant to benefit 150 youth in the district and will be implemented under a Private Public Partnership with the government of Uganda to promote youth entrepreneurship and employment.

//Cue in; "This is what we call…

Cue out…and start properly."//

Odera urged the youth leaders to give Gulu district and the government benefit of the doubt that the project will be successful.

//Cue in: "The youth leaders…

Cue out: "…gave us the names"//

Uganda earns about USD 4.8 Million in Forex from coffee. The government has also set up a national strategy to increase the production of coffee from 3.5 Million bags to 20 million bags.