President Yoweri Museveni on Tuesday opened the 9th Commonwealth Youth Ministers’ meeting in Kampala and welcomed all delegates to Uganda.
“As a former youth, I cannot overemphasise the importance of this demographic to the future of Africa and the world,” Museveni said at the event.
“And while we all agree on the grand idea, there is urgent need to synchronize on the minimum ideological base required to push us to that desired place.”
Museveni said in his time as a youth leader, they dealt with colonialism, poor health, illiteracy, insecurity and human resource under development etc.
In the case of Uganda, the statistics of how far it has come speak for themselves, he said, adding, “The youth leader of today has different challenges to deal with thanks to the work some of us have done in the last years.”
The president said the top priority should be given to prosperity through trade and business as opposed to donations.
Regional integration for wider markets and encouraging investors are some of the ways Uganda is trying to achieve prosperity.
“Unfortunately, you find some of our youth leaders labelling investors on identity and inciting the masses against their projects.”
He said the second priority is aligning education to the changing trends of the labour market.
“We have started a campaign to convert our university graduate turnover into potential employers and not just employees because there is not enough capacity to absorb them now.”
A big deal of attention should also go to parenting, Museveni noted, explaining that a lot of young people’s character and therefore ability to cope with needs unique to their time are shaped in childhood.
“I therefore challenge today’s youth leaders to identify the fundamental challenges of their time and devote their energies to resolving them.”
Museveni advised the youth to desist being dragged into peripheral issues and consolidate what “some of us have devoted our lives to delivering to generations after us. I thank you”.
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