Aine Nerbert. firstname.lastname@example.org
The National Youth Council has welcomed the effort by government to increase household incomes through the Parish Development Model.
A statutory body established by an Act of Parliament as an umbrella organization of all Youth in Uganda between the ages of 18-30 years and is mandated to organize, mobilize and engage Youth in development activities as well as protect them from any kind of manipulation has however noted with deep concern the consistent marginalization of the youth in the implementation of the Parish Development Model.
NYC has said that it should be recalled that government collapsed the funding for the youth livelihood program and the youth venture capital fund in favor of the PDM as one basket fund at the grassroot level. This means that in Uganda today, there is no youth specific funding by government in a country where over 75% are below 30 years of age.
From the onset of the Parish Development Model,National Youth Council argues that the Youth leaders across the country and at National Level have been consistent about our position on the PDM implementation as follows;
1. The PDM MUST have a quota for youth in the PDM funds at the parish such that youth specific groups/enterprises can access their own financing in the provided quota for youth.
2. The PDM MUST include a monitoring role for youth leaders at the National and District Level to ensure proper interest protection and fight corruption that has riddled previous attempts of grassroot enterprise financing by government.
NYC further notes that these demands were captured in the resolutions of the 2021 National Youth Delegates Conference and also presented to His Excellence the President during various interactions with the National Youth Leadership of the country.
According to this statutory body, the President Museveni directed HE the Vice President to meet with the National Executive Committee of the National Youth Council to find ways of actualizing and protecting the interests of the youth leadership and Consequently, the Vice President wrote to the implementing Minister of Local Government on three areas for immediate involvement of youth leaders in the PDM. (Ref: OVP/10 dated 26th August, 2021)
To further support this position, the Ministry of Gender guidelines on the PDM are very clear about the access of 30% of PDM parish funds by youth in the Parish Development Funds and captures expectation of youth specific groups at the Parish level.
To the National Youth Council dismay, the implementation of the Parish Development Model has paid lip service to the demands of the youth leadership in the country to date. For the first four month of the year, the PDM secretariat issued monthly guidelines which made no mention of the youth quota in the PDM at all.
In the latest guidelines issued in May 2022, the PDM secretariat indicated that the youth shall not get their own funds or enterprises in the PDM but shall instead share 30% of membership in every enterprise group with one other special interest group.
The National Youth Council totally rejects this position on the basis of previous engagements with His excellency the President, several government ministers, the demographic composition reality of the youth in this country, and on the basis of the collapsed and sacrificed youth specific funds for youth enterprises.
The National Youth Council futher says it is shameful that in a country of our population age structure, some government actors require reminding that the young people are an overwhelming majority and the successful future of the country depends a lot on investing in this young population in terms of education and economic livelihood capacity.
So, the Council reiterates their demands to government as follows;
1. Government should immediately seize this implementation strategy as indicated in the May 2022 guidelines until a 30% specific youth quota is allocated in PDM funds and included in the guidelines.
2. Government should provide 3Bn shillings for youth structures to monitor and report on the access and performance of the 300 Billion shillings that would become available for youth enterprises at parishes with the 30% quota.
“If government does not agree with us, then we demand that government proceed and finance our youth livelihood fund program and the youth venture capital funds at 100bn shillings each- annual capitalization.”, National Youth Council said in the press release.
“It would also be consistent with what Parliament has done for the women UWEP fund which has been maintained, and the new enterprise funds created or elders; despite the livelihood of the youth being sacrificed in our country”, the Council further says in the press release.
On the 26th of February 2022, the President of the Republic of Uganda launched the Parish Development Model at Kibuku Primary School in Kibuku district. In his preliminary remarks, he corrected a selected youth presentation that seemed to suggest that the PDM was not about money. His Excellency insisted that the PDM is entirely about money.
The National Youth Council therefore urge youth leaders across the country to make their demands clear in all PDM engagements with government until you hear otherwise from the National Youth Council leadership.
The Council is the lead, National umbrella body charged with the organization, protection and unifying of the youth of this country to harness their potential through raising their national consciousness, creating awareness on their health, skills development and Labour productivity for sustainable and youth responsive development