SEATINI Uganda and National Youth Council Hold Public Dialogue to Commemorate the International Youth Day
In recognition of the fact that young people are the social actors of change and progress given their potential to contribute to social transformation, on 17th December, 1999, the United Nations General Assembly declared 12th August as International Youth Day.
In commemoration of this year’s International Youth Day, SEATINI Uganda in partnership with the National Youth Council- Uganda held a public dialogue at Kyambogo University under the theme “Making the Economy work for the Youth towards an inclusive Post Covid Recovery”. This public dialogue which was held on Friday the 12th of August 2022 was aimed at providing a platform for young people to share views on their plight and what needs to be done to make the economy work for young people.
Ms Brendah Akankunda, the Trade and Investment Policy Analyst at SEATINI Uganda, noted that the youth need to make their voices heard in policy processes. “We cannot talk about policies to work for the youth if they are not participating in policy processes and shaping the various policies,” she noted.
She also noted that the youth are contributing to development due to their innovativeness in areas like entrepreneurship.
Hon Boniface Okot, the Youth Member of Parliament for Northern Uganda who also doubles as the Chairperson Uganda Parliamentary Forum on Youth Affairs noted that the International Youth Day provides an opportunity for relevant stakeholders and actors to raise awareness and draw governments’ attention to global youth issues, as well as to evaluate the various policies, programs, and interventions put in place to empower youth.
Youth leaders and student movements across various universities need to develop a collective position on issues that affect them and interrogate government efforts like the Parish Development Model (PDM) to see if it addresses the issues of the youth, Hon Okot added.
Ms Judith Nabimanya, a Program Associate at SEATINI Uganda implored the youth to embrace the opportunities provided by the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). She also called on the youth to undertake market research to understand the opportunities including available markets so that they can specifically produce for specific markets.
Mr Yusuf Weluga, the President of the Uganda National Students Association (UNSA) called upon the government of Uganda to consider providing incentives and tax holidays to young people and youth-led start-ups just like it is done with the investors. He added that this will encourage young people to stay in business as well as sustain themselves in the long run.
He also observed that the education system in Uganda is creating more job seekers than job creators, government should therefore set a mandatory policy which allows youth to acquire hands-on skills before joining universities so that”, he added.
On the hand, Mr Kidega Moses, the Secretary of the National Youth Council- Uganda emphasized that every day should be a youth day, not just International Youth Day.
SEATINI Uganda is committed towards engaging youth and working closely with youth-led organizations especially on how to use trade, fiscal and investment related policies and processes to address the challenges faced by youth/young people.