Well, like it was last year in 2014, where different organisations , companies and agencies like Vision Group and partners organised YIYA Sente, Pakasa Forum, and Youth Advocacy Foundation Uganda’s Annual Skills Development Expo, UN’s Youth Hub, European Union’s and ILO’s Youth Entrepreneurship F
By Johnson Akampa Tanbull
Well, like it was last year in 2014, where different organisations , companies and agencies like Vision Group and partners organised YIYA Sente, Pakasa Forum, and Youth Advocacy Foundation Uganda’s Annual Skills Development Expo, UN’s Youth Hub, European Union’s and ILO’s Youth Entrepreneurship Facility among other sense speaking and inspiring forums where young people get to meet leaders from the civil society, private sector, the Government, international development agencies so they are able to learn, network, share and unlearn.
I would like to use this platform to extend my sincere appreciation to Vision Group and partners like ALSEC, RUNIS Media, Coca cola for bringing to Youth the 2015 PAKASA Forum for Youth and University students, yes, the Panelists were on spot in as far as what they are doing with passion is concerned, yes, more of the panelists happen to be young and I could easily understand because the approach was more on a peer to peer holistic approach, I wish this could be the same thing done even next year where I will be part of the panel, more young people will be at the forefront of development.
What I did not like was the notion from the youth who were asking questions saying or suggesting that there are no opportunities for youth in Uganda?
This I do not buy or believe in because life it’s self is an opportunity, Life is full of infinitive opportunities, what youth need to know is that opportunities are available however where there is an opportunity there is a challenge and unless we as youth strategically position ourselves to seize and embrace these opportunities within our environment then unemployment will seem to look a huge elephant that cannot be brought down.
Fresh graduates lamenting on how they lack funds or loans for their projects yet the Social Innovation Academy (SINA) is looking for young people with projects and project ideas to give funds or scholarships, when the Microfinance Support Centre Ltd together with Youth Advocacy Foundation Uganda – YAFU and partners are establishing a YOUTH FUND for organized youth groups, When Youth Advocacy Foundation Uganda-YAFU, Young Farmers Federation and partners are supporting Youth in Agriculture…opportunities are massive!! Let youth open up their eyes.
As youth we are expected to OBSERVE, EXPERIENCE and INNOVATE, yes, we are hopeful that those who turn up for such forums go back differently from the way they come, we have numbers and yes speakers and keynote speakers share so that young people are able to have mindsets nurtured and transformed as well give room to shape character and be a better persons in their communities, Uganda and the world at large in position to be the change and live that change they want to see.
The topics were rotating around major issues and challenges that youth are facing especially here in Uganda, rampant unemployment, HIV, Entrepreneurship…
The recent world bank reports indicate that in 10 years to come over seven million Ugandans will be unemployed and this is a negative signal meaning we shall be having more dependents, more wasted or underutilised labour force, more resources will be encroached on, more peasants since majority of parents are selling the little they have to send their children to School.
This is the current situation in Uganda and yet all the parties are supposed to work together, bring the private sector, civil society on board for Uganda’s collective sustainable development. It’s not just a sole role of Government.
One of the reasons we see more and more unemployed youth is lack of cooperation and holistic constructive ideas and as youth we must also woken up our eyes, we must not be blind of opportunities as early as possible and off course not forgetting that where there are opportunities there are challenges. Everybody has a challenge but we cannot see the challenge unless we are there.
Youth, whereas we have a right, we have duties to perform and obligations to fulfill, let us not ask what Ugandan Government has done for us but rather start by appreciating that contributing a brick is a contribution to building of this nation. Where is your brick and how have you used it?
The writer is a youth advocate under the Youth Advocacy Foundation Uganda-YAFU
Youth, opportunities are very available