OPINION– Mr President, Yoweri Kaguta Museveni Tibuhaburwa, allow me write to you this time around not like an NRM member or your supporter but as a professional youth worker, Founder, Youth Advocacy Foundation Uganda-YAFU and many other youth centred organisations, associations, groups or agencies where I either sit on their board or where am equally a founding member.
I have been part of the youth movement, done activism, done public policy influencing, advocacy on different platforms that bring together youth, policy makers, Government agencies and international development partners. Part of my work is all over internet!
In this note to you, you will allow me write the truth and uncensored! I hope your security apparatus gets to understand me and not call or summon me for threats but all in all, I choose not to be worried since I am writing to my President, the Fountain of honor.
Your excellency Sir, our National Resistance Movement (NRM) has not taken the youth demography as serious as they ought to be taken. Yet this demography is a potential force to either create a secure or insecure Uganda!
Therefore, engaging them politically for economic development should be a continuous agenda.
Uganda is blessed with very creative, innovative and enterprising youth.
I have met with, interacted with, supported them in many different small ways like dynamics of forming associations, legalizing business enterprises, having constitution for associations, groups, Community Based organisations(CBOs) NGOs & SACCOs!
Ooh, yes, at YAFU and our partners we have equally engaged youth in financial literacy, skills development through our different platforms like the National Skills Development Expos, our partners’ Annual Youth Festival etc.
Youth have formed SACCOs, Associations, groups and etc! But what next?
The Youth Livelihood Fund is no more! The Youth Capital Venture Fund can only be used as reference in what Government tried to do for youth in business to access credit!
And one of the reasons why companies or enterprises started by youth do not last to celebrate their second birthday is that there is no youth friendly credit access! This we have sung over and over again!
Skilling the girl Child, yes, the project could have given skills, small capital and equipment especially in Kampala but has it been extended to other parts of the Country? The answer is no!
Your excellency Emyooga was largely dominated by adults and by the way, even those adults never got funds that would get them out of the poverty trap! But put them into more loans that groups will not even be able to pay!
My neighbour in Kahengye, Jamilah Namara got 210,000Ugs yet she had spent roughly 190,000/= with in the group so as to process the money! Wasn’t this hot air to Ugandans especially the youth?
Operation Wealth Creation (OWC) has not supported or given any farm in puts to any single youth in my entire ward of Eastern Ward formally Kabingo division, same applies to adults!
Yet every time a Government official or politician comes for burial or public event or even on media, they tell youth to form SACCOs, groups, associations and nothing follows next! When did NRM, the mass party and the Government in power become a party of lies?
During campaigns/elections some groups got some Government money, state house and you personally used to deliver equipment to some youth groups!
Some groups, SACCOs, Associations were promised during even 2011, 2016 and even now 2021, they have never got anything!
Ugandans will start not to take you or NRM as not serious! In fact they are already not taking NRM leaders not serious, just as a batch of liars! Only that some are still silent and choose not to speak about these issues in public for fear of being branded moles, terrorists by the security apparatus and those Ugandans who think they are more NRM than you the Chairman.
Your excellency, it is high time, our NRM Government deliberately put in place policies that create an enabling environment for youth entrepreneurs to thrive, let every District give contracts/tenders that do not exceed 25Million to the youth companies.
More accessible credit schemes should be put in places specifically targeting the youth. Tax/trading licence for youth companies should not be levied for at least 3/5 years.
There should be a fully fledged department under OWC that looks at Youth in agriculture and gives incentives, in puts specifically to youth.
Under the Parish Development Model(PDM), youth committees are equally vital so as to directly and strategically position their needs and demands as well spend the vote on their specific issues with in the parish. A holistic peer to peer approach must be applied.
NRM leaders at all levels including your ministers and handlers should avoid being arrogant to the youth and not tell them lies but give guidance, narturing and give right information.
Remember, youth are a fundamental resource to invest in and time is now, not in the future during campaigns or elections.
If there is money, tell them there is money, guide them on how to access this money, how to use it for sustainable livelihoods but not hoodwinking them with rhetorics!
Will be sharing more proposals and youth demands in the near future!
For God and my Country Uganda.AKAMPA Tanbullakampabi@gmail.com