Kampala. Youth leaders from across the political divide and civil society have appealed to leaders aspiring for positions in the 2016 polls to address the issue of youth unemployment in their manifestos.
The call was made during the National Youth Manifesto Validation Conference which brought together youth representatives from political parties and Civil Society Organisations.
The representatives specifically asked the political leaders to create an enabling legal environment that can facilitate job creation and improve working conditions for young Ugandans.
“Unemployment is a general issue in Uganda, our important demand is creation of job opportunities and incentives for young people by either creating tax holidays or creating learning grounds for youths to acquire businesses,” Mr Emmy Otim a youth activist said.
The Youths also demanded political leaders to ensure that youths actively and meaningfully participate in the development, implantation and monitoring of government programs so that they are relevant to the needs of the youths.
Dr Siranda Gerald Blacks, a member of the Democratic Party and Chairperson of the Interparty Youth Platform said foreign investment in Uganda was unfavorable to the youths.
“We have many factories that are owned by foreigners and they come with all the human resource. If you start a factory, Ugandan youths should be employed up to the management levels,” Dr Siranda said.
He noted that if the foreign investors are to come to Uganda, they must always present a plan which has a clause of grooming young people.
Unemployment among Ugandan youth stands at more than 65 per cent with the situation worse in the rural areas of the country.
This validation conference of the draft National Youth Manifesto was organized to provide a platform for interaction, engagement and consultation towards building consensus around the final National Youth Manifesto 2016.
In his address to the youth delegates, Gen Aronda Nyakairima the Internal Affairs Minister asked them to support regional integration to create more opportunities for Ugandan youth.
“If we don’t sort out South Sudan, Burundi, Somalia certainly our economic growth rate will face severe challenges. We need to have peace there and open more markets and be guaranteed of the safety of those markets.” Mr Nyakairima advised.
He said several infrastural projects were underway like improving the road and railway network which he said would foster integration and create the much desired opportunities for the youth.