By Raymond Baguma
Uganda’s youth population if well-managed presents the best development asset the country can boast of in the coming decades.
Uganda is marking the day under the theme, “Unlocking young people’s potential for sustainable development through collective investment.”
The national celebrations to mark the international youth day are taking place today in Moroto town at the Boma grounds.
“With about 78 percent of the population below 30 years, Uganda has the third youngest population globally,” read a joint ministerial statement to mark this year’s international youth day.
The statement was jointly signed by the minister of gender, labour and social development, Mary Karooro Okurut; the state minister for youth, Ronald Kibuule, and permanent secretary, Pius Bigirimana.
The ministers said that in order for development to happen with the youthful resources, it is important to understand the needs of Uganda’s youth, the opportunities provided by their ideas and the sources of innovation.
The ministerial statement said that in order for Uganda to realize the full potential of its young people, there is need to work through public-private partnerships.
The ministers noted that government and the private sector are implementing programmes to improve the livelihood of poor, unemployed youths citing the Youth Livelihood Programme (YLP) and the Youth Venture Capital Fund (YVCP).
The ministry revealed that since the YLP was launched in January this year, a total of 1,563 youth group projects have been developed, with 20,192 youth in 27 districts benefiting from funding amounting to over sh11 billion.
“The programme is being rolled out to the remaining 85 districts. This financial year 2014/15, it is hoped that approved projects will be financed by the beginning of September 2014,” added the ministerial statement.
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Uganda marks international youth day