Uganda’s challenges which include youth unemployment, corruption and poverty among others have widely been blamed on the leaders. In a bid to provide solutions and lay a foundation for meaningful future leadership, a total of 200 youth leaders from all over the country have come together to forge a way forward in a 3-day National Students And Youth Leaders’ Empowerment Summit held at Grand Global Hotel- Makerere.
The summit under the theme, “Rooting patriotic student and youth leaders for national peace, unity and progress”, is intended to provide actionable knowledge to the youth leaders in form of mentorship, empowerment and inspiration.
Officiating at the summit yesterday 24th Aug 2023, the State House Comptroller, Ms. Jane Barekye, who was represented by the Director for Presidential Projects and Industrial Hubs, Eng. Raymond Kamugisha highlighted the need to yearn and look for information if the young generation is to benefit from the various government projects geared towards youth empowerment.
In her speech presented by Eng. Kamugisha, the State House Comptroller said, “It is through skills that our country can be transformed, and the government has put in place several skilling programs that the youth can access irrespective of whether they are educated or not.”
At the same event, the NRM Vice Chairperson- Eastern Uganda, Captain Mike Mukula encouraged the youth leaders to stay focused and steer this country and the African continent at large to self-sustenance. He said that the solutions to African problems can only be provided by the Africans and it is the role of leaders to steer the population into participation.
“I want you to know, you the young people that the African continent is going through a renaissance and if we don’t come together as Africans and find a way of uniting as well as identifying the problems of Africa; which include, imperialism and neocolonialism we won’t be in charge of the future of our continent. We have to use our capacity and self-determination as Africans. No African will be respected in the world if Africa does not come out to liberate itself and become powerful politically and economically,” Captain Mukula said.
Captain Mukula further emphasized the need for the population to look beyond politics and white-collar jobs to earn a living citing the private sector as a very powerful contributor to empowerment and job creation. He said that leadership is not limited to politics, but one can also be a leader in the private sector and contribute highly to national development.
The Senior Presidential Advisor- Political Affairs Ruth Katushabe applauded the youth leaders for taking charge and preparing for the future saying that most political leaders are products of previous youth leadership regimes.
“Some people were talking of transition; the transition has begun. We used to hear presidential advisors who were very old people but now our generation is coming up. That means we can advise the President on our issues because we understand them better. That is why we are here. When they talk of transition, most people think about the big office, but you cannot go to the big office when you are not prepared,” said Ms. Katushabe.
She also encouraged the youth leaders to stay focused despite their parents’ status whether rich or poor, citing an example how she was born to a lame father and a blind mother but was assisted by the parents’ social capital to attain education and later realize her leadership dream.
The National Students and Youth Leaders’ summit was organized by the youth themselves. These included; Guild presidents and Ministers of Gender from Universities, National Youth Council, among others.