SEATINI and Other Stakeholders underscore the need for the Youth to be Part of the COVID 19 Economic Recovery Plan
Stakeholders including Civil Society Organizations, Ministry of Gender Labour and Social Development, National Youth Council (NYC) Leaders, Youth Members of Parliament among others emphasized the urgent need for the youth to be part of the Post COVID-19 economic recovery plan and that the recovery plan should fully take into consideration the aspirations of the youth. This was during the first ever High Level Dialogue that was organized by National Youth Council in partnership with SEATINI Uganda and other stakeholders on 11th August 2021 ahead of the International Youth Day celebrated every year on 12th August.
In his remarks, Jacob Eyeru, the Chairperson for the National Youth Council of Uganda emphasized that the High Level Dialogue was meant to be an avenue to create policy propositions to be taken up by the relevant government Ministries, Departments and Agencies and youth leaders as action areas over the next year to inform youth related policies and practices.
While the global theme of this year’s International Youth Day was, “Transforming Food Systems: Youth Innovation for Human and Planetary Health”, the High Level Dialogue was held under the theme; ‘‘Livelihood after the pandemic: Should Young People have Hope?’’
The High Level Dialogue created a platform for various stakeholders to reflect on the plight of the youth in Uganda given the emerging challenges and the evolving COVID 19 situation.
According to Hon. Nyirabashitsi Sarah Mateke, the Minister of State for Youth and Children Affairs, noted that government is fully aware that the youth continue to face several challenges especially in this period of the COVID 19 pandemic and mechanisms are being developed to address the plight of the youth.
The Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development is yet to launch a database for all the youth related projects to serve as a one-stop center for opportunities and related information to partly solve the problem of access to information, Hon. Sarah Mateke said.
While giving her remarks, Ms Jane Nalunga the Executive Director at SEATINI Uganda implored young people to use their power, audacity and the numbers wisely.
‘‘The COVID 19 pandemic has battered our economy and therefore it is very important that the youth are part of the recovery plan such that they are not left behind,’’ Ms Jane Nalunga said.
‘‘The dilemma of graduate youth unemployment has not just started during the ongoing COVID 19 pandemic, it has been around and has not yet been addressed,’’ Jane Nalunga added.
Hon. Okot Boniface, the Youth Member of Parliament for Northern Region noted that the youth are supposed to be benefiting from government programs like the ‘‘Emyooga’’ but the reality at the ground reveals that few groups that have benefited from this initiative.
Brenda Akankunda, the Program Officer Investment for Sustainable called on government to address the various human rights violations like land grabbing, forced labour that are a result of the existing policy gaps within Uganda’s regulatory frameworks.
SEATINI Uganda is committed to working closely with the youth towards shaping the future that they want.