Kampala. Youth actors have asked government to allocate funds in the next year’s budget to implement its commitments made under the National Youth policy.
Under their umbrella body, the Uganda Parliamentary Forum on Youth Affairs(UPFYA), the youth said there is need for government to put in place strategies to implement the National Youth Policy.
“The youth themselves need to own the policy as their document and use it to demand government to implement the programmes as laid down in the commitments to save the plight of the young people,” Mr Mwine Rwamirama Mpaka, the chairperson of the UPFYA said.
While addressing journalists in Kampala yesterday, Mr Mpaka also the Youth MP for Western region suggested that policy statements of the line ministry should have indicators of what government is committed to, in the policy in order to be catered for the next financial year.
Last year, government launched the National Youth Policy as guide to different stakeholders in the provision of quality services to the youth to enable them enhance their competencies for improved participation in the national development.
According to the policy, youth population was estimated to grow from approximately 3.7 million in 1991 to 7.7 million in 2014, out of which 53.4 per cent are females and 46.6 per cent are males.
The youth population (18-30 years) currently constitutes a significant proportion of the total population at 22.5 per cent.
The policy targets all persons aged 15 to 30 years and recognises that youth are a heterogeneous group. It also contains provisions that address the specific and special needs of the different youth categories.
Ms Elone Natumanya, the coordinator of the UPFYA, described the youth policy as Uganda’s comprehensive framework to address the development of the youth in a holistic perspective.
“Any ministry, institution, organisation or government agency that is doing anything in youth engagement is supposed to use the policy because it is meant for coordination of all activities and their implementation,” she said.
The policy calls for investment options in sports and talent management, social entrepreneurship as well as information and communication technologies as opportunities worth consideration and a bold step by government to massively invest in business and vocational training.
“…the level of youth participation remains significantly low and it is paramount that strategic interventions are instituted to promote more meaningful youth participation in decision making and management consistent with the asset-based approach to youth development; government to improve infrastructure to make ICT more accessible to the youth and for guidance and mentorship on proper usage,” reads the policy.
Other issues targeted for in the policy are culture, gender, agriculture and environment.