"If social media is well-utilised, it can change one's perception on ethnicity, attitude and promote tolerance and mutual understanding. This can bridge the divisions between ethnic groups," AMYU director said.
PIC: Makerere University students matching during the annual national inter-faith harmony walk held at Makerere University Freedom Square on Thursday, February 22, 2018. (Credit: Shamim Saad)
KAMPALA - The youth have been urged to use social media platforms to promote peace and harmony rather than violence.
The executive director Allied Muslim Youth Uganda (AMYU), Muhsin Nuwagaba Kaduyu, said social media can be used to promote peace and encourage dialogue among people from different ethnic and religious background.
"If social media is well-utilised, it can change one's perception on ethnicity, attitude and promote tolerance and mutual understanding. This can bridge the divisions between ethnic groups," he said.
Nuwagaba made the call during the annual national inter-faith harmony walk at Makerere University freedom square on Thursday.
The walk was aimed at creating platform for interaction and mutual understanding between youth of different religious denominations and universities in central, eastern and northern Uganda to improve understanding of violent extremism and the role of religion and youth leaders in promoting peace.
Nuwagaba stressed that the majority of the youth, especially university students misuse social media and end up getting recruited by Alshabab terrorists and other extremists via a Whatsapp and other platforms. He noted that it is the reason why many youth end up terrorism activities.
"Extremist activities are on the rise across East Africa. The growth in terrorism and radicalism has the potential to disrupt key development, resulting in unstable livelihoods and deaths," he noted.
Nuwagaba urged religious leaders to be creative in the way they preach to the youth.
The head of department of religion and peace at Makerere University, Prof. Hassan Tugume, said through social media, young people should run peace programmes and intercultural activities such as organising multiethnic youth festivals to promote peace and tolerance, as well as monitoring and discouraging hate speech.
Tugume also called on teachers in secondary schools to come up with peace studies and topics through which to instill discipline and peace among their students.
The spokesperson at the US Embassy in Kampala, Phil Dimon, said Uganda's youth should work together towards promoting inter-faith dialogue and peace.
"We are proud to partner with the AMYU in promoting inter-faith dialogue and peace. Ugandan youth should come together to support the initiative," Dimon noted
A total of 500 youth participated in the harmony walk under the theme, Walk together for the love and good of all.
The walk started at Freedom Square, through Wandegeya, to Makerere University Hospital.