By Apollo Munghinda
President Yoweri Museveni has urged the youth to take advantage of the available resources to create wealth and be in position to sustain themselves.
President Museveni said the young people are a strong force and pillar that anchors the revolutionary spirit of the NRM party and Government.
President Museveni’s remarks were made on his behalf by the Prime Minister Dr Ruhakana Rugunda who represented him at celebrations to mark the international youth day at St. Charles Lwanga College in Koboko District.
Museveni congratulated the youth of Uganda and the youth all over the world upon celebrating the international youth day.
The President saluted the people of Koboko for the support they accorded the NRM in the presidential elections early this year, adding that NRM was committed to serving all Ugandans to ensure that they prosper.
This year’s international youth day celebrations were held under the theme: The road to 2030: Eradicating poverty and achieving sustainable production and consumption.
Mr. Museveni said Uganda is one of the countries with a high percentage of the youth (77%) under 30 years of age, adding that this was an advantage and great resource to the nation.
He said the promotion of youth’s entrepreneurship was one of the avenues for wealth creation because there is great potential and benefit from investment in youth business enterprises.
“The government of Uganda under operation wealth creation (OWC) is working hard to improve and fast track the process of service delivery to households through implementation of priority programmes,” said the President.
Mr. Museveni appealed to the youth to be responsible for their health by avoiding alcohol, drugs and promiscuous behaviour because HIV/AIDS is still a big problem.
“We must seriously deal with raising the ideological levels of the youth through Patriotism clubs and a National Youth Service Scheme that is being conceptualised,” said Museveni.
Regarding Agriculture, President Museveni said there is need to convert the 68% of the homesteads from subsistence farming to commercial agriculture.
PIC: PM Rugunda receives medal for President Museveni awarded by Ministry of Gender from 2nd Deputy Premier Kivejinja during International youth day celebrations in Koboko on Friday ( Photo by PMPU)
He said he was pleased to note that out of nearly 60 billion so far loaned out to youth under the youth livelihood programme, nearly 44% has gone to agriculture leaning enterprises.
Museveni directed that the Ministry of Agriculture should work closely with Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social development as well Cooperatives to ensure maximum youth participation in all agricultural initiatives including OWC and NAADS.
The President reiterated that the 23 strategic guidelines and directives for a minimum programme for Uganda to attain the middle income status by 2020 emphasises the cost of investment, infrastructure development and zero tolerance to corruption among others.
The Minister of Gender Labour and Social development Hajjat Janat Mukwaya said this was the first international event to be hosted in Koboko.
She urged the youth to take advantage of the available opportunities, including skills training programmes to be able to contribute to the transformation of the country, adding that building synergies will lead to greater success.
The Minister of State for youth and children Affairs Florence Nakiwala Kiyingi as well as the Chairperson National youth council, Lillian Aber called for more funding for the national youth council to achieve its objectives.
The District Chairperson Koboko District Hassan Nginya on behalf of the people of Koboko thanked President Museveni for appointing their daughter Evelyn Anite, State Minister of Finance for Investment and Privatisation as well as granting Koboko, Municipality Status.
He thanked Government for efforts geared towards addressing youth unemployment in the country especially through the Youth Livelihood Programme (YLP) and operation wealth creation (OWC).
The Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social development awarded a medal to President Museveni, Prime Minister Dr Rugunda and other distinguished Ugandans who had played key roles in supporting the work of the Ministry.
PM Rugunda planting a tree at St. Charles Lwanga College Koboko on occassion to celebrate International youth day on Friday( Photo by PMPU)