Opinion
Empower youth to influence society
Publish Date: Jun 02, 2014
newvision
  • mail
  • img

By Cinderella Anena

Whereas the United Nations defines the youth as “a section of the population between the ages of 15-24 years, the National Youth Policy defines the youth as persons between the age of 12-30 years and it is a period of great emotional, physical and psychological changes.

According to the State of the World’s Population Report (2012), Uganda has the World’s youngest population, where 78% of the population is below 30 years, while 52% are below 15 years and 39.3% are between 19-59%, the ageing population (60 years and above) are only at about 4.6%.

Uganda continues further to experience a high growth in the population of young people from 51.4% (1969) below 18 years to 53.8% (1991) and 56.1%(2012). With such an analysis, such a situation brings with it overwhelming needs and problems of young people that affect their wellbeing.


Notwithstanding their participation, the unequal gender relations, social and cultural barriers, low civic awareness and lack of political will and confidence have shadowed youth engagement in society today, especially in political structures and decision making. Many unemployed youth constitute, in the eyes of many, a threat to stability.

For example, youth in slum areas getting involves in substance abuse and crime. Inadequate funding shadow influence in political structures to respond to the needs of youth on the ground, this is worsened by unequal regional distribution of resources and power leaving behind the disadvantaged impoverished, illiterate and politically marginalised.


Whereas there is an enabling environment for youth participation through the extensive system in political structures and the elaborate policy framework on youth participation and youth issues, actual participation remain low.

The existing youth structures exist for formalities and do almost nothing and the youth are not fully involved in policy making or implementation. The National Youth Council presents with it a protected statutory status which challenges the youth in opposition to push for youth issues.

Much as there has been an institutionalisation of youth participation like in civil society, there is need for a youth focused participation whose realm of realm of attention in the political agenda is set to unlock the opportunities for influence on decision making, power and authority.

To bridge the gap, there is need to target youth organisations and build their capacities in areas such as project planning and management skills, democratic governance and decision making.

Women’s participation can be revamped through addressing the negative socio cultural barriers such as the traditional authoritative, patriarchal and hierarchical values that hinder women in getting a voice in decision making.

Youth focused and friendly approach in service interventions should be up scaled from planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation to address symbolic youth participation.

To be there yet, youth empowerment maybe necessary for meaningful participation and competence.
The writer is a youth activist
 

Related stories

62% of Ugandan youth jobless - report

NRM youth leaders released on bail

NRM youth fight at party headquarters

The statements, comments, or opinions expressed through the use of New Vision Online are those of their respective authors, who are solely responsible for them, and do not necessarily represent the views held by the staff and management of New Vision Online.

New Vision Online reserves the right to moderate, publish or delete a post without warning or consultation with the author.Find out why we moderate comments. For any questions please contact digital@newvision.co.ug

  • mail
  • img
blog comments powered by Disqus
Also In This Section
Staying the Course in Europe’s East
As the European Union’s leaders gather in Riga for a summit with the six members of the EU’s “Eastern Partnership,” many recall the dramatic meeting in Vilnius of November 2013....
President Museveni is still right on creation of constituencies
This debate arises from the creation of 36 constituencies by President Yoweri Museveni. The people of Uganda should not criticise the creation of constituencies but argue for a strong policy....
Teachers strike; its high time government enforces contracts
On Tuesday morning, as I set out from home to town to begin my day, a village woman stopped me and requested me to offer her a lift which I did. Before she could settle in the car, she sought my opinion about the ‘silent’ teachers’ strike....
Channeling China’s aspirations
China has begun to stretch its economic and military muscles in recent years. In the South China Sea, it has built a series of quasi-military bases on the tiny Spratly Islands and deployed warships to defend them....
The missing meaning democracy
The decision to abandon relative peace and prosperity for brutal war and instability may seem irrational. But young people, born and raised in democratic societies, have increasingly been yielding to the appeal of death-dealing groups like the Islamic State, leaving their homes and families to wage...
Why Greece is Different,  Daniel Gros
By Daniel Gros The seemingly interminable negotiations between the new Greek government and its international creditors – the International Monetary Fund, the European Central Bank, and the European Commission – on a new loan deal have entered a dangerous phase....
Should politicians be banned from addressing religious gatherings?
Yes
No
Can't Say
follow us
subscribe to our news letter