Govt needs to inject more resources into Youth development so as to harness the demographic dividend.
As Uganda strives to acquire the middle income status by 2020, government and all other players should put considerable efforts in youth development bearing in mind that 78% of the country’s population is below 30 years (UBOS report 2014) and huge potential if this demographic dividend is harnessed.
A national resource planning programme therefore needs to be developed and regularly operationalized to take stock of the skills needs of the young people as enshrined in the Vision 2040 so as to spur the development of our country. There must be structured interventions aimed at supporting continuous learning and development while keeping pace with trending global technological and scientific development. In addition, our education system must be responsive to address the critical skills gap, technology deficiency, lack of creativity and innovativeness especially among the graduates to ensure that they are well equipped with the relevant skills to succeed in the competitive job market.
Uganda recently hosted the 9th Commonwealth Youth Ministers Meeting with the theme “Resourcing and Financing Youth Development: Empowering Young People” and quite a lot transpired during the 5 day meeting, best practices were shared and a number of recommendations were made. It is therefore incumbent upon all of us as actors to ensure that the knowledge shared and recommendations from the 9CYMM are implemented to ensure that our youthful population is better put to use to develop the nation.
The demographic dividend is not automatic… It is a window of opportunity and therefore deliberate measures should be taken to ensure that the youth develop into productive citizens.
ICT and Communications Officer, Uganda Parliamentary Forum on Youth Affairs (UPFYA).