Youth Members of Parliament have criticized
government’s decision to postpone the celebration of the International Youth
Day from12th to 26th August.
The United Nations General Assembly declared every
12th August as the International Youth Day on 17th
December 1999 in recognition of the numerical strength of the young people and
their potential to contribute towards social transformation.
The day is used to promote awareness and draw
attention to youth issues in the world and also for governments to evaluate the
different policies, programs and interventions put up to empower youth.
Now, under their umbrella group, the Uganda Parliamentary
Forum on Youth Affairs, MPs say that the decision by the government to postpone
activities to celebrate this day indicates that less attention is given to
by their Chairperson, Boniface Okot, the Youth representative for Northern
region, the MPs demanded for an apology from the government for its failure to celebrate
youth, whom they described as the country’s important resource.
in: “this is not…//
out:…soon as immediately.”//
week, the Minister of Gender, Labour and Social Development, Betty Amongi
informed Parliament about the postponement of the International Youth Day
celebrations which had been scheduled for Friday, at Kaunda Grounds in Gulu
regret the postponement of the youth day and promise that it will not happen
again," Amongi told parliament without indicating the reasons for the postponement. "During the week prior to the event, various activities will
take place. These include a National Dialogue, Tree planting, Games and Sports
activities, Community work, Blood donations, Voluntary Counseling and Testing,
Cancer Screening and Exhibitions.”
The theme for this year's commemoration is
Intergenerational Solidarity: The role of the youth in the implementation of
the Parish development Model.
Amongi said that the chosen theme was a reminder to
all young people that the exercise and enjoyment of rights and freedoms are inseparable from the performance of duties and obligations, saying that youth
must strive to create a world in which all persons are equal before and under
the law in all spheres of political, economic, social and cultural life.
Okot says that there is need to address different challenges facing youth in the
country like unemployment, limited structured government support programs and
policies, among others that can help transform societies.
Aisha Agaba, the
Bugangaizi East MP also said that government needs to use this year’s youth day
to provide more skills to young people by setting up more technical
institutions in different regions across the country.
in: “and with industrialization…//
out:…of our people.”//
In its new data on
challenges and opportunities for young Ugandans in starting and running
businesses, research body Twaweza says that young Ugandans are less likely to own businesses
than older citizens.
It says that four out
of ten (41 percent) of the citizens under 35 years have owned a business in the
previous five years, compared to five out of ten (51 percent) older citizens.
The same data indicates that fewer young citizens (18 percent) than older
citizens (25 percent) currently own a business.
The findings released
by Twaweza to mark the International Youth Day are based on data from Sauti za
Wananchi, Africa’s first nationally representative high-frequency mobile phone
The findings are based
on data collected from 1,597 young people (aged 18 to 34 years) and 2,900
respondents across Uganda between January 15th and February 7th,
Marie Nanyanzi, the
Senior Program Officer at Twaweza says that despite this, young people are
confident about their financial skills with 8 out of 10 young Ugandans (79
percent) agreeing that they can manage financial records.
She added that among 2,900 young people, they
found that 87 percent of them if provided with 3.5 million Shillings would
start up a business.
According to Nanyanzi, 66 percent of them
indicated that they would use the money to invest in farm activities, 32
percent in buying land and only 6 percent did not know what to use the money
Nanyanzi says that this research clearly shows many young
people are quite enterprising and only access to capital is stopping them.
//Cue in: “there is unfulfilled…//
Cue out:…financial management skills.”//
Nanyanzi also says that in their research they found out that
even though young people are aware of different poverty alleviation programs
like emyooga and youth livelihood programs, only 7 percent have
participated in them.