A senior lecturer at Makerere University Business School (MUBS), Dr Diana Ntamu, has urged youth to be innovative and creative if they are to gain meaningful employment and be successful in business ventures.
"You need to value creativity and innovation, doing new things in a different way," Dr Ntamu said.
The don made remarks on Wednesday, during the release of the assessment impact report for Action for Fundamental Change and Development at Silver Springs Hotel in Kampala.
Ntamu encouraged young people to start enterprises and demonstrate that they are capable of managing a business.
She said with business acumen the youth have the potential to access loans from commercial banks.
Ntamu pointed out that opportunities for employment exist in Uganda but she is saddened by young girls who are lured to Middle East countries to work as house helps.
"It makes me sad to hear harrowing stories of girls who go to Saudi Arabia seeking employment as if we don't have opportunities in Uganda," she stated.
AFFCAD board chairperson of Harriet Gimbo (right) unveils a dummy of the organisation's impact assessment report. Photo by Francis Emorut
She pledged to develop youth skulking programmes for Action for Fundamental Change and Development, a non-governmental organization which started in 2009 to uplift the lives of vulnerable people living in the slums of Kampala.
Ntamu said her involvement will see the youth skilled and providing employment in slum areas.
She encouraged the young people to take advantage of the government's programmes such as Youth Livelihood Programme and Youth Venture Capital Fund.
Ntamu who is the head of the Entrepreneurship Innovation Centre at MUBS asked the youth organization to be transparent and accountable to the community and government.
The university don was supported by the assistant commissioner in charge of youth at the gender ministry, Mondo Kyateka, who implored the young people to register their businesses and work as a team to inspire others.
He appealed to the youth to be innovative in branding and marketing their products if they are to attract customers.
According to the executive director of Action for Fundamental Change and Development, Prudence Atukwatse, the organization which was started by four boys operates in three thematic areas namely education, health and economic empowerment.
She said the organization has economically empowered 6,000 youth over the last 13 years in the slums of Bwaise, Kisenyi, Kabalagala and Katwe.
Regarding education, she informed the audience that 1,500 have benefited from the organization.
On health 5,000 youth have been provided with information on sexual reproductive health rights and linked to the health centres to access health services.
The board chairperson of Action for Fundamental Change and Development, Harriet Gimbo stressed the need to invest in monitoring and evaluation of the organization's activities to ensure that the target group are the beneficiaries.
She also encouraged the youth to think outside the box to address the challenges of unemployment with an emphasis on being innovative and creative.
Moses Arinaitwe, the researcher told the audience that there is a need to streamline programming in areas of mental health as many youths are grappling with drug abuse, violent extremism and alcoholism among other challenges.
He observed that psycho-social support is key to addressing the challenges the youth face.
Robert Mitesasira, a school dropout and a beneficiary informed the audience that he was now economically empowered in catering and hotel management after acquiring skills from the organization.