Economists have advised government to pay attention to transparency, accountability and development of youth friendly policies to ensure that the youth benefit from programmes geared towards youth empowerment.
“We need to ensure access to education not just education, but quality education, which should benefit both the boy and the girl child,” Robert Nabende an economist with the education service commission said.
Speaking during a two-day youth Budget literacy training for the youth from different parts of the country, on Tuesday, 6th November, 2018, organized by Civil Society Budget Group (CSBAG) at Esella Hotel in Najjera, Wakiso district, Nabende said, government needs to invest in vocational education, and sensitize young people on the benefits of such education.
He noted that many youth were shunning vocational training because of lack of sensitization on the part of government.
“Students should right away from primary be told that being a carpenter is not a punishment. Graduates with no jobs should be re-tooled so that they are given vocational skills, to start-up small and medium enterprises to better our economy,” Nabende advised.
Nabende also pointed out the need to invest in the health sector, for a healthy and productive labour force saying people who are healthy, provide good human capital. So the government needs to go an extra mile by investing in the health sector and provide quality and affordable health services”.
Nabende attributed the failure by government to economically empower the young men and women despite efforts such Youth Livelihood Program, to corruption and lack of transparency by some government officials.
“The government has lost so much money in different programs. Recently we heard from parliament that the money which was given to benefit the youth through the youth livelihood program, was given to ghost youth groups,” Nabende said.
Christine Assimwe from western Uganda pointed out corruption as a big challenge to effective implementation of government programmes. In my district, I heard of a story where one wanted to be a headmistress of a certain school, but before she could be promoted, the people responsible asked for a sh2m bribe which she didn’t have.
Brighton Aryampa, a student from Uganda Christian University (UCU) urged government to review education system saying current education system is theoretical yet labour market demands practical innovation.
“Even in the labour market, employers are looking for people with first class degrees forgetting that these people who don’t shine in class can do wonders when it comes to practical skills,” Aryampa said.
But Jude Odaro practicing economist implored the government to invest more resources in practical skills development to empower young men and women economically.
He also appealed to the youth pick interest in the informal sector which he said can help improve their financial status and also better the economy.
“Write proposals and take advantage of programs like the youth livelihood funds. You don’t need a lot of money to start-up these small and medium enterprises,” Odaro said.
Agnes Kirabo, food rights alliance national coordinator tipped youth on embracing activism especially on matters related to equity in budgeting saying its through budget activism, that government has been able to improve funding to key sectors such as agriculture, health and education.
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