Uganda: Programme To Tackle Youth Employability Challenge Launched

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Standard Chartered Bank in partnership with Challenges Uganda has launched a 6-month youth employability programme under its Futuremakers initiative valued at Ugx 300,000,000.

The “Youth-to-Work” initiative which has been unveiled at Kampala Serena Hotel to over 100 guests will benefit 40 young and enthusiastic out of university youths with an opportunity to work with Small and Medium sized enterprises (SMEs) in Kampala.

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The objective of the Youth to Work programme is to position and equip young people with skills and opportunities to create economic and employment changes across the economy for sustainable and measurable impact.

In this regard, young people will become implementers of change, rather than standalone programme beneficiaries.

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Through a 3-month training, the youth will be able to develop & refine their skills, work with inspiring entrepreneurs, acquire a Level 5 certificate from the Chartered Management Institute and help drive business performance of an SME.

For the candidates to be eligible for the Youth-to-work programme they will be required to be graduates from any academic background, be 21-30 years or 21-35 for persons with a disability, be Ugandan nationals, attend an assessment day, have some experience, skills or aptitude for business and entrepreneurship.

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Challenges Group Director Neil Fleming said during the launch that they are taking Challenges’ considerable experience of delivering development and business-growth projects, combining it with their on-the-ground knowledge and networks in Kampala and the UK to provide an initiative that will help 40 firms and young people directly, while also acting as a catalyst for wider growth within Kampala’s business community and supporting hundreds of university students.

“Each of these young adults will also be provided additional training so they can then take their knowledge, experience and new-found expertise and share it with hundreds of other ambitious young Ugandans who will be entering the labour market in the years ahead,” said Fleming.

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Uganda, like many other African countries, is facing a crisis in regards to youth unemployment. An estimated 200 million young people are either unemployed or in vulnerable employment globally.

In Uganda, about 65% of the country’s unemployed population are aged between 18 and 30. Thankfully the global community is at last moving past the failed model of hand-outs.

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Fleming said Challenges has long understood that entrepreneurship, effective management and job creation are critical to growing prosperity of individuals and communities.

The Youth at Work pilot is about building a business ecosystem where enterprises and talented young people can thrive, and where innovation and prosperity can grow. Our expertise in delivery is critical to this.

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Vivian Achan the Challenges Uganda Business Development Manager said the programme will take 40 young adults and provide them with key management consultancy training, then position them in one of 40 small and growing businesses.

Once in post, they will provide strategic business development services, with the aim of improving performance.

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For some of the SMEs, this would enable them to become investment-ready and lead to further expansion, which in turn would better enable job creation. The programme’s activities will also reach hundreds of university students and enterprise ecosystems.

“This is a fantastic partnership with Standard Chartered that has great benefits for the successful youths and the small businesses where they will be placed over the 3 months period.

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“Some of the benefits for the 40 SMEs that will register on the Challenges Website to participate in this programme will include; Enterprises will receive on-site business development and investment readiness support, the junior associates will receive accredited business management training from the Chartered Management Institute (CMI), Enterprises will be supported to grow their peer-networks and in strengthening their ecosystem.

“Furthermore, enterprise staff skills will be enhanced through training, they will receive access to senior mentors from Uganda and the UK to provide expert input into their businesses, and lastly, enterprises will receive support to their business leaders to enable them to identify personal barriers and strengths to grow their companies and help them maintain momentum and motivation to improve. We’re all looking forward to delivering this brilliant and far-reaching project on behalf of Standard Chartered,” said Achan.

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The CEO of Standard Chartered Albert Saltson said they are very excited to launch the “Futuremakers by Standard Chartered” programme, a new initiative that will tackle inequality and promote greater economic inclusion for young people in our communities.

“The programme aims to empower the next generation to learn, earn and grow through programmes focused on three pillars – education, employability and entrepreneurship.

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“Under Futuremakers, we will expand Goal, our education programme to empower girls and young women, and develop new programmes focused on employability and entrepreneurship with a continued emphasis on financial education,” said Saltson.

This post originally appeared on Busiweek

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Uganda strives to invest in youths to tap population dividend

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By Xinhuanet.com (Ronald Ssekandi)

As the world commemorates World Population Day on Thursday, Uganda is striving to invest in its youths to explore the benefits of population dividend. The population day will be commemorated under the theme of “Renewing the promise; empowering the youth to contribute to socio-economic transformation”.

Uganda has one of the youngest and most rapidly growing populations in the world. Figures by the National Population Council (NPC), a state agency that advises the government on population issues, show that Uganda has a population growth rate of 3.3 percent per annum, making it the third fastest growing population in the world. The country’s population is projected to reach 75 million by 2040 from the current 40 million people.

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Youths below the age of 30 make up more than 78 percent of the 40 million people, according to the NPC.

More than 70 percent of the youths are unemployed and this is what the Ugandan government is striving to reverse.

Population experts argue that investing in the youth age group will guarantee a healthy and skilled human resource.

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According to the World Bank, if the increase in the number of working age individuals can be fully employed in productive activities, other things being equal, the level of average income per capita should increase as a result. The youth bulge will become a demographic dividend.

John Ssekamatte, a consultant with Uganda’s National Planning Authority, told reporters on Wednesday that for Uganda to achieve its aspiration of upper middle income status by 2040, the challenge posed by a high population growth has to be addressed.

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“For us to achieve that we must meaningfully engage the population as a productive force because if we don’t, it will be a productive liability,” he said.

Other experts have argued that if a large number of youths cannot find employment and earn satisfactory income, they are likely to become a potential source of social and political instability.

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INVESTMENT

Demographers argue that sustained economic growth is critical in creating opportunities for the youthful population that is entering the labor market. They argue that Uganda needs to invest in growth sectors like agriculture, tourism, oil and gas which can have high job multiplier effect and can spur inclusive economic growth.

The government has embarked on this by first prioritizing areas, which it argues are bottlenecks to economic development. The government is investing heavily in energy and transport infrastructure, so that if the cost of energy is low, more industries would open up and create employment. A better and efficient transport system would also reduce the cost of production since farmers or industrialists would easily transport their products to the market.

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Fred Wabwire, chairperson of the NPC, told reporters on Wednesday that the government has embarked on other measures to improve the skills of the youths to make them economically active.

Wabwire said that besides the provision of free universal primary education and free universal secondary education (USE), the government has embarked on vocational training. When the youths finish basic education, those who are unable to continue to university go to vocational training.

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“Education empowers, it provides information, and if we can keep all the boys and girls in schools up to the end of USE, that intervention scores a lot of marks,” he said.

Wabwire said youths who have completed vocational training can access funding from the government through the Youth Livelihood Program (YLP) to start up small enterprises. The YLP, which is based on three pillars of skills development, livelihood support and institutional support, targets unemployed youths, according to ministry of finance.

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United Nations Population Fund argues that the government should continue to invest in the health of the population. The population agency said that the healthiness of the country’s labor force determines the level of productivity.

It argued that for instance as children’s health and survival rates improve, family demand for more children declines. Smaller family sizes improve maternal health, which further improves child health, as well as increase women labor force participation, hence contributing to economic growth.

📷 @Myjoyonline

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Uganda: Beyond The Crowds And Youth Euphoria, Bobi Wine Needs A Program – Katikkiro

BY Softpower.ug (PAUL AMPURIRE)

The Katikkiro of Buganda, Charles Peter Mayiga has said opposition politician, Robert Kyagulanyi (Bobi Wine) must do more than pulling crowds and the euphoria that he sparks among the young people, if he is to be considered to lead Uganda.

The Katikkiro said that as much as Bobi Wine, 37, appeals to the young generation, who are the majority population, he needs to come up with a well laid-out program on what he can do for Uganda.

Mayiga was speaking Wednesday while appearing on Straight Talk Africa, a talk show on Voice of America which is hosted by Shaka Ssali.

Asked what his views are about Bobi Wine, the Katikkiro said: “Well, Bobi Wine is a darling of young people and you must realize that the current regime has been around for 33 years”.

“That’s a long time and Bobi Wine is an artiste, and to communicate to people through music is very easy”.

The Katikkiro was then asked to comment on whether he agrees with some people who say Bobi Wine’s future is way ahead of him. When talk regarding Bobi Wine being a potential candidate for Presidency, first emerged a section within the ruling NRM and the public dismissed him as not being fit to contest.

“I don’t know. It all depends on how he wraps up his program and presents it to the people. The French President is very young, there is a Chancellor in Austria who just resigned, he’s 32. He’s younger than Kyagulanyi. President Obama became President at 47. President Kennedy was 43,” Katikkiro said.

“What matters is whether he (Bobi Wine) has readied himself for the job. Beyond the euphoria of the youths. If he wants to be President, then he must have a program beyond the crowds,” he added.

On whether Bobi Wine can count on the support of Mengo, the Katikkiro said Buganda kingdom supports whoever is aligned with the kingdom’s interests.

“Buganda kingdom does not support or oppose anyone. The Buganda kingdom has its own interests. And we wrap them in five key pillars”

He said that any Presidential candidate seeking the support of Mengo “should come over and tell us they are going to support us” on the five issues.

“You respect our heritage and King, we want the federal system of government, we want to protect our land and borders, we want programs for social economic development, and we want the unity of the people, ” he said in outlining the key pillars commonly known as “ensonga ssemasonga ettano”.

“Whoever supports them, then people should vote him,” Mayiga said.

There have been claims pointing to a likelihood of Bobi Wine who is a Muganda, being backed by the establishment in Mengo.

In February this year, in a CNN interview, Bobi Wine for the first time publicly said he was considering running against President Museveni in the 2021 general elections.

The singer launched his political bid in 2017 when he ran for a Parliamentary seat in a by-election in Kyadondo East constituency near the capital, Kampala.

He won the election in a landslide victory after polling 25,659 votes (77%) out of 32,999 votes cast while his closest rival, Sitenda Sebalu of the ruling NRM party polled 4,556.

Since then, the Afro Pop singer has mounted pressure on President Yoweri Museveni’s government, rallying his followers, many of them youths to use their numbers and power change leadership.

He would later coin his ‘People Power’ slogan under which he challenges Ugandans to put an end to a status quo he says only works for a few.

He was among the legislators that challenged the controversial amendments of the Constitution which repealed the Presidential age limit in 2017.

Uganda: Police to raid vuzu youths

By Nqobile Tshili/Mpumelelo Nyoni

POLICE in Bulawayo will today arrest any rowdy youths found in the central business district and have increased deployment of officers to deal with the scourge of vuzu parties.

Teenagers take drugs and often engage in risky unprotected group sex at the parties.

Police said there is a growing trend of youths causing anarchy in the city centre or organising the infamous parties on the last Saturday before schools open and first Saturday after schools close.

Schools open for the second term on Tuesday.

Bulawayo acting police spokesperson Inspector Abednico Ncube said cops would not only target the rowdy youths but also kombi crews that usually transport them to party destinations.

“On May 2 Officer Commanding Bulawayo Central District Chief Superintendent Elizabeth Phiri held a meeting with several stakeholders including social welfare, National Aids Council, Bulawayo City Council land inspection officers, Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education and two representatives from parents’ bodies,” said Insp Ncube.

“Of concern was the risky behaviour by these youths, who will be drunk, a nuisance in the city centre and making noise while riding on kombis and hanging from the windows of the cars. There is also a concern that these kids would be abusing dangerous drugs.”

He said in the meeting they resolved to arrest those youths who would be found to be disorderly, drunk and causing commotion in the city centre.

“We want to warn all the youths that we have resolved to increase police deployments in anticipation of their rowdy behaviour. We will also arrest kombi drivers who provide these teenagers transport and impound their vehicles. Therefore, we are appealing to parents to pay closer attention to their children’s activities so that they will not be found on the wrong side of the law,” he said.

Insp Ncube said they will also be conducting an anti-drugs campaign in the city centre as they worry that teens were abusing dangerous substances.

Last week on Saturday, police arrested 49 youths aged between 15 and 25 years for criminal nuisance and public drinking.

Meanwhile, parents in Bulawayo have been urged to create a culture of dialogue with their children in order to preserve the moral fabric of the city’s communities and the future of youths.

At a #AntiVuzu stakeholders’ meeting organised by the Bulawayo Progressive Residents Association (BPRA) at City Presbyterian Church yesterday, it was resolved that intensive research be undertaken to find the root cause of teenage delinquency and moral degradation, as evidenced by the rise of vuzu parties.

The meeting was attended by various youth-centred non-governmental organisations.

Speaking at the meeting, Junior Chamber International Bulawayo chapter local president Mrs Sinqobile Demadema said sexual immorality among the youth was worrying, adding that some girls as young as 13 years are selling their bodies for jiggies and recharge cards.

Thamsanqa Ndlovu, chairman of Parents Youths Association of Zimbabwe said that parents must work with the Bulawayo City Council and MPs in implementing policies that are meant to safeguard the future of the youth.

“The city council, through its housing and community services department made a policy document on February 9, 2012, named the Sustainable Economic Development Initiative and is meant to benefit youths. As parents, we need to implement the document to alleviate the scourge of drug and sexual abuse among youths.

“We need to engage the youth and find ways of modernising Youth Centres so that they meet their needs. Members of Parliament must also be put to task because the country’s constitution has provisions for reasonable measures and affirmative action that should be taken to deal with the youth,” said Ndlovu.

Ndlovu added that the generational gap between children and parents and technological advancements cannot be blamed for youths engaging in wayward behaviour as parents have a duty to engage their children on issues that affect them.

Source Chronicle

Uganda: Youth Leader Bobi Wine is Freed on Bail

By Elias Biryabarema

Bobi Wine, a Ugandan pop star and lawmaker who is seeking to challenge veteran leader Yoweri Museveni for the presidency, was freed on bail on Thursday after spending two days in jail on charges of staging unlawful protests.

Magistrate Esther Nahirya granted bail after hearing Wine’s application, but told him he would be returned to jail if he engaged in unlawful demonstrations while free.

Wine, whose real name is Robert Kyagulanyi, has rattled authorities with a fast-growing base of supporters who are electrified by his combination of music and biting criticism of Museveni.

He was jailed after being charged with several offences stemming from his championing a demonstration against taxes on social media usage last year.

Wine told the court after submissions by his attorneys that the charges against him are politically motivated and that he is being persecuted “under the guise of prosecution”.

“My business is standing for the truth, my business is standing for what is morally right,” he said via a video link to the court from a jail south of the capital Kampala.

On the day he was jailed police used teargas to disperse groups of youths in various parts of Kampala who were demonstrating against the government and what they see as harassment of Wine for his political ambitions.

Museveni, 74 and in power since 1986, is expected to stand in the next presidential election in 2021. The opposition and some rights activists say the president has grown authoritarian, citing frequent tear-gassing of opposition rallies, jailing of activists and harassment of independent media.

On Wednesday, state media regulator the Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) ordered the suspension of several staff at 13 media outlets including radio stations and TVs for broadcasting content “likely to mislead or cause alarm to the public”.

Some of the media outlets had carried live broadcasts of the arrest of Wine and police dispersing his supporters using teargas and water cannons.

Source Reuters

Uganda: Can the current youths’ lifestyle guarantee old age security?

The drug vice is eating at today’s youths and a quick and permanent solution ought to be found in order to numb this cancerous habit


By Emmanuel Luganda

9 years ago, my longtime friend Atwooki lost a grandmother. The strong, black beauty knocking on 82 years succumbed to malaria.

With her angelic smile, Abwooli Kabajungu was my grandmother too, because of the brotherly friendship I have with the grandson.

Her motherly advice of encouraging us to work hard and living a legacy still lingers in my minds.

The strong whirling winds breaking through tree barriers kept us fresh as we laid her body to rest at her scenic home in Fort portal, bordering Mountain Rwenzori.

Abwooli gracefully enjoyed her old age, having saved up enough through her youthful life as a farmer, to enjoy the last years of her life.

Blessed with many sons who would have moved through hurdles to ensure she was covered at every front in relation to her basic needs, Abwooli never came to see those days as she was an old self-sufficient woman.

Even then, not every elderly person has that blessing. If you have lived in Kampala for even a month, you might have chanced on an elderly person either selling tomatoes, charcoal or working a 14-hour shift in a shop.

While working is commendable, for an elderly person, it should not be a means for survival, rather a hobby or way of keeping occupied.

That is why it is paramount that youths start saving for their retirement as early as possible. In Uganda, youths are ranked between 18 and 35 years but in this demographic, employment commences around 23 years after they have completed their education at tertiary level. It is eyebrow-raising that some of the employed youth believe they are still young to save and procrastinate on this safety net for the indefinite future.

Youths should know that savings will, at length, be a source of future survival. Employment is not perpetual and not especially in this era, where companies are increasingly downsizing because of rising operational costs. There is an ill-advised sense of complacency that creeps in, when most of us begin earning money, that we in most cases cannot see the forest for the trees or we simply just lose sight of the future, forgetting retirement is a reality. In essence, as a worker, you have between 23/4 and 50 years of gathering savings to cater for the rest of your life.

In light of the prevailing status quo, the million dollar question is; can the current youth lifestyle choices ensure old age security? Majority of the country’s youth have long fallen into the habit of wasteful spending, indulging themselves in alcohol and drug binges and parties. According to Police records, 2463 adult males and 151 adult females were involved in narcotics or drugs in 2017.

The drug vice is eating at today’s youths and a quick and permanent solution ought to be found in order to numb this cancerous habit.

These shortcomings among the youth are deterring their efforts for growth.

At the moment, the Uganda Retirement Benefits Regulatory Authority (URBRA) has devised various ways for people to cater to those ready to save for the future without feeling the pinch.

Schemes such as the National Social Security Fund, regulated by URBRA deducts 5 per cent off your salary which is bolstered by your employer who adds 10 per cent to be dedicated to your retirement savings.

The savings are entitled to interest earnings on an annual basis, which will be given to you at 55 years, upon your request.

Last year, members of NSSF earned a 15 per cent interest on their savings attributed to the good performance of the fund.

While NSSF caters for those formally employed or previously formally employed, URBRA licensed Mazima and KACITA retirement schemes that allow the informal sector to save for their retirement.

In many aspects, Uganda’s informal sector which makes up 80% of the country’s labour work force has lagged behind in terms of saving for retirement.

Through the years, informal Sector Schemes have given an opportunity to the informal community to save for the future.

These savings are also subjected to interest earnings since their savings are invested.

In light of that, it is important to bring people to terms with URBRA’s regulatory framework, which ensures that individual member savings are safe and available for requisition at the point of retirement.

One may want to argue that many youths are unemployed, which is true.

According to the Uganda Bureau of Statistics, 13.3 per cent of the youths between the 18-30 age group is unemployed.

In a bid to support the unemployed youth, Government has introduced many projects aimed at helping youth acquire skills to create their own jobs as well as seed capital for businesses.

The projects are also not in isolation of the private sector which has strongly empowered the youth to acquire skills and knowledge to prosper.

It is now incumbent on youth especially those in the formal education system to seek for experience prior to completion of university.

For instance, if youth started volunteering and interning while in their first year at university, they would graduate with at least three years’ experience in their work of interest.

Volunteering and internships give youth the opportunity to grow their work experience which is a major challenge for those in search of jobs.

So fellow youth, old age security is guaranteed on savings accumulated through your youth hood which calls for hard work and planned spending.

I implore every youth to adopt the Jewish spending model; They tithe, save, invest, give to charity and then spend.

Source New Vision