By Isaac Aliowaku
As Uganda joins the rest of the world to commemorate the International Youth Day on August 12, 2017 next week under the theme “Youth building peace”, allow me appreciate the framers of this day to the lives of young people. They did a lot of work and thought twice about the future of youth who are the world’s biggest resourceful population for its development.
I must say as a young person, I am so delighted to join and participate in celebrating my youthful life before I reach my evening times. In the same spirit I do implore my fellow youth to do the same and invest their youthful energies to contribute to the development of our country Uganda.
The sustainable development Goal 16 seeks to promote peaceful and inclusive society for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels.
This means that member countries ought to be mindful to engage and offer opportunities for the youth to participate in the governance processes as a means to tapping their energy to contribute to its development since an idle mind is a devils workshop and is likely to engage in conflicts and disruption of peace in a society.
In Uganda we have got institutions that seek to promote youth development at all levels under the national youth structures, this has contributed tremendously to the empowerment of young people in Uganda. But we still have many other government institutions that have not tapped youth potentials to the fullest in terms of offering them opportunities for improved livelihood.
Given the fact that Uganda has 78% of the population below the age of 30 years, with youth unemployment standing at 65% of youth between 18-30, there is need to address the scourge of youth unemployment.
As we all know that Ruwenzori sub region has been climaxed by the tribal wars in the recent past years, most of the conflict drivers and victims have been the youth the fat that many were idle and not having opportunities.
My reasoning is that as we celebrate the day, the government should think of alternative means to address the youth challenges of unemployment if we are to achieve peaceful sustainable development in Uganda. Besides that, the country is experiencing political debate over the presidential age limit removal and the fact that majority youth ought to participate in positions of leadership, many are likely to engage in protesting the removal of the age limit.
More so the land question debate is another contentious issues that is likely to affect the entire citizenry including the youth, all these are factors to instigating conflict and violence. Therefore the government ought to be careful in handling these matters not to the detriment of the youth fraternity.
My advice to my fellow youth is that, let’s think of creative and innovative solutions to address our own challenges and desist from handouts as said JM Kennedy the former US President “Do not ask what your country should do for you but ask what you should do for your country” In that way, we shall be able to plant seeds of patriotism in Uganda, embrace political discipline and hygiene that shall translate in to peaceful democratic dispensation and achieve a sustainable development in our country Uganda.
The writer is programmes Officer at Recreation for Development and Peace (RDP), Masindi.