By Moses Walubiri
KAMPALA - African countries excluding younger people from programs tailored to the socio-economic transformation of their societies are sitting on a time bomb, Africa Peer Review Mechanism’s Prof. Okon Uya Edet has warned.
A member of APRM’s panel of eminent persons in charge of Uganda, Okon contends that disaffected young people have proved to be the main engine of violence in countries that have endured bouts of civil unrest.
“Governance is Africa’s biggest problem and until it’s fixed, Africa will not achieve viable socio-economic transformation of its people,” Okon told journalists on Thursday at Media Center.
His emphasis was clear: You cannot structure development programs without putting youths into account.
“Youths who feel disconnected from their governments consider them alien institutions whose property is only fit for destruction at the slightest provocation,” he explained.
On Saturday, ARPM marks its 10th anniversary.
With an estimated 34 million people, Uganda has a young and fast growing population which State Minister for Planning and Economic Monitoring, Matia Kasaija, conceded is “a double edged sword”.
He, however, ruled out plans by the state to regulate the number of children individuals can have, saying “Uganda can still accommodate more people.”
Uganda tomorrow joins 33 other African countries to mark APRM day under the theme: APRM working for the peoples of Africa.
Exactly a decade ago, on March 9 2003, APRM was agreed upon by member countries of the African Union as an instrument of self-monitoring with the aim of deepening democracy.
Uganda was last peer-reviewed in 2008 in the Egyptian Mediterranean city of Sharm el Sheikh.