By Umaru Kashaka
OVER fourteen development partners have stressed that the youth in Uganda no longer need handouts from Government, but attention and policy support to issues affecting them.
They made these remarks during a press conference organized by the Parliamentary Youth Forum at Parliament on Thursday to highlight some of the activities that will be carried out this Saturday at the National Theatre.
These partners that included the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and International Alert added that there should be equal partnerships for the youth to access markets, capital, jobs and other opportunities if they are to uplift themselves from poverty.
“According to our last year survey on how northern Uganda is recovering from the LRA conflict, 80% of the youth in this region don’t have basic skills to compete favorably in the job market and the Gov’t should come to their rescue,” the International Alert country director, Richard Businge, explained.
The Eastern youth MP, Peter Ogwang, hailed the development partners for supporting youth programmes in the country and used the occasion to ask Government to give a two-year grace period to beneficiaries of student loan scheme to pay it back once they join the labour market after University.
“We ask Gov’t to look into this because it will be hard for these beneficiaries to service the loan immediately after leaving University. Yes jobs will be available for them as scientists of course, but they may not be paid well at the start,” Ogwang noted.
The team leader, Open Space Centre, Wakibu Bunnya, said this 3rd annual youth festival that will be organized by them under the theme “Changing the Game”, will be graced by the US ambassador Scot Delisi.