Eng. Idriri Kamuntu
■We want to be heard: The voices of Uganda’s young people on youth unemployment.
The young people appreciated the opportunity to be heard by policy-makers and program designers. The views of young people will be incorporated into ongoing government and World Bank analytic work on job creation and youth employment.
■”Some solutions are within our reach if we change our attitudes towards work. Most solutions however depend on the government working with us to create more jobs.”
What problems/challenges do the youth in Uganda experience?
●Unemployment and underemployment that leads to stunted growth.
●HIV/AIDS: There has been a resurgence in the virus amongst the youth. There is a high infection rate among girls and boys aged 15-22 despite Uganda having been one of the pioneering countries in the fight against AIDS on the continent during the 1990s though there is still a decline in the general infection rate in the entire population. The resurgence has been as a result of unemployment, Lifestyle changes among the youth, Concurrent multiple partners.
●Climate Change and its effects on Agricultural Output and food security
●High Population growth rate which greatly affects living standards and creates urban slums
● Land Ownership for projects and commercial Agriculture
● Shifting Economy
In today’s society, the open markets and globalization result in laying off workers and outsourcing work to the countries where it is cheaper. This makes it more difficult for the young people to find jobs and further complicates the already problematic lives of the youth
● Accessibility to Loans for development/ soft loans in form Capital to start up businesses
We live in a society that promotes materialism and young people are taught to measure success and happiness in life based on how much stuff they have. Materialistic view on life can result in dissatisfaction when one doesn’t have enough and can negatively affect a person’s life.
● Tribalism and Nepotism where people are deployed according to their relationships with people in power
●Poverty and Ignorance: Despite the gains made Africa and Uganda in particular still suffers from high levels of ignorance and poverty.
●Skills gap; Lack of sufficient experience and required skills needed by the employers.
●Poor attitude towards some types of jobs and business opportunities
●Lack of ideological orientation, training and refreshing for ideological consciousness and clarity.
●Slow economic growth and small formal labour markets
●Lack of decent work due to rigid education system
●Stress & Time Management.
Managing the pressure to succeed in every area of life and finding time to do it all seems to be one of the biggest challenges facing the youth today. Young people are expected to be successful, yet few of them are aware of effective time management.
●Single Parent Households
Since the 1950s, the numbers of the single parent households have significantly increased. Today, 14 million single parent homes are responsible for 28 million children in the world. Raising a child in itself is difficult enough, no matter whether it is a single parent home or not, especially with tough economic conditions.
●Limited social networks
Ways of tackling youth unemployment in Uganda
▪︎To Provide youth with marketable vocational skills and tool kits for self employment and job creation
▪︎To provide financial support to enable the youth establish income generating activities
▪︎To provide the youth with entrepreneurship and life skills as an integral part of the livelihood
▪︎To provide youth with relevant knowledge and information for attitudinal change
▪︎Improving the standard of vocational training
▪︎Bridging the gap between training and jobs
▪︎Helping vocational training institutes attract students and new business.
▪︎Peer-to-peer awareness raising on employment skills and opportunities.
▪︎By providing capital and hands-on skills,the government and private sector could promote business start-ups.
▪︎It is also important for government and private firms to give recent graduates the opportunity to build up the skills and experience required by the job market.
▪︎There is also need for capacity building to enhance youths working skills
▪︎Mindset change to embrace Development programs
▪︎Youths should embrace personal initiatives/ventures for self employment and self-reliance
In conclusion, it is clear that the challenges Uganda faces are substantial: Infrastructure investment, stronger governance, regional integration, and a focus on social programs that can reduce inequality. If you tackle these challenges, you can spur stronger growth that creates good jobs for your young people.
Eng.Kiiza Idiri Kamuntu
☑️National Chairman for Team Thorough-YKM