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Two Ugandans shortlisted as finalists for 2018 Commonwealth Youth Awards

By Joyce Namutebi

Added 20th February 2018 04:00 PM

The awards recognise outstanding young people aged 15 to 29 whose innovative projects and programmes have had a significant impact on their communities.

Two Ugandans shortlisted as finalists for 2018 Commonwealth Youth Awards

Photo/ Courtesy

The awards recognise outstanding young people aged 15 to 29 whose innovative projects and programmes have had a significant impact on their communities.

TWO Ugandans are among 20 talented young people who have been shortlisted for the 2018 Commonwealth Youth Awards.

The awards recognise outstanding young people aged 15 to 29 whose innovative projects and programmes have had a significant impact on their communities.

"This year's focus is on celebrating young people's contribution towards a fairer, more sustainable, more secure and more prosperous future for the Commonwealth: the four sub-themes of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) taking place in London in April," according to the Commonwealth.

The two from Uganda are Sherifah Tumusiime who focused on Sustainable Development Goal 5, Gender Equality and Lawrence Okettayot whose project was about Sustainable Development Goal 11, Sustainable Cities and Communities.

Tumusiime is the founder of Zimba Group, a start-up business that provides technology and software solutions for SMEs (Small and Medium Enterprises). It also provides tools, technologies, platforms and networks to improve the livelihood of women in underserved communities in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Okettayot  is the creator of ‘Sparky Dryer', a low-tech dehydrator which dries fruits and vegetables to extend their shelf life from two days to two years. The aim of the creation is that it increases food security and income for local communities.

The 20 finalists span every region of the Commonwealth, including Africa, Asia, the Caribbean and Americas, Europe, and the Pacific. They were shortlisted from more than 400 applications from across the globe. The programme is being coordinated by the Commonwealth Youth Programme.

Regional Young Persons of the Year will be selected, with one exceptional entrant being recognised as the Commonwealth Young Person of the Year during the Commonwealth Youth Forum, in London in April.

"In addition to a grant of GBP £1,000 to continue their development work, finalists will each be awarded a trophy and certificate. The Regional Young Persons of the Year will receive £3,000, and the Commonwealth Young Person of the Year will pick up £5,000."

The Pan-Commonwealth adjudication panel for the final shortlisting of the overall regional and overall winner of the 2018 awards , convened by the Commonwealth Secretariat, , included the High Commissioner for Saint Kitts and Nevis, representatives from the High Commissions of Fiji, Malaysia, and Kenya, a trustee of the British Youth Council and the Commonwealth Local Government Forum.

The other finalists include Mrinalini Dayal from India;  Zain Ashraf,  Pakistan; Elia Timotheo from Tanzania, Gerald Matolo, Kenya; and Omowumi Ogunrotim from Nigeria. 

Last year's Commonwealth Young Person of the Year was Krystle Reid, an advocate for empowerment of young persons living with disabilities in her native country Sri Lanka. Speaking about her experience of winning the award, she said, "It was a highlight of my life and a great opportunity and platform to further scale up the work of the Enable Lanka Foundation for an incubator space for young entrepreneurs with disabilities. This award will allow me to reach out to even more marginalised groups and communities. It is an opportunity no young person should miss." 

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