The current population of Uganda is estimated to be well above 46,000,000 (Over Forty-Six Million People). The latest projection of Uganda’s population according to 2019 published data is 45,741,007(Forty-Five Million Seven Hundred and one Thousand and 7 people).
In much finer detail, the last population census of 2015 put the Country’s population at 42,729,036 people (as reported in 2018) compared to a population of 5,158,000 people in 1950.
The 2015 population figures further show that 48.1% of Ugandans were below 15 years, 49.4% were between the age of 15 to 65 years and only 2.5% were above the age of 65%.
This population demography is a serious tragedy that must be seriously taken into consideration by our political leaders.
There is zero doubt of chronic lack of understanding of societal issues by a big population of Ugandans below the age of 30.
To tell this young man or woman of 15-25/30 years that tarmacking Kigumba-Masindi-Bulima-Hoima-Kagadi-Kyenjonjo Road will cause economic development improving the lives of Ugandans in those districts and beyond doesn’t make any sense to him or her.
Yet our political leaders continue to push such things as indicators of development in Uganda. Right as they are, how can we make such young people understand these realities? This is the question our leaders must honestly answer.
It is even more fun to tell these young people that peace is an achievement of the NRM Government. These young people below 25 years grew in peace.
Educated as they are, many don’t make any meaning of peace is an important facilitator of Socio-Economic and Politico-Social transformation.
Now they are increasingly becoming a big block in voters register and will participate in taking a political decision. Peace is not a big deal for them. It doesn’t concern them at all. Many don’t even want to know what is happening in Somalia, South Sudan, DR Congo, CAR, etc.
The questions are, what quality of decisions will this group take? What happens in the event that their decision is bad? Is the Country safe with such a big block of educated but highly careless and ideologically unclear people with powers to choose leaders? What do we need to urgently address this challenge in both form/appearance and substance/Content?
The Social media onslaught over the Govt plan to build roads in DR Congo is one empirical evidence of the tragedy of having a large population of ideologically unclear population.
To have a big number of Citizens who cannot connect the construction of roads in Dr. Congo to trade and then to prosperity and economic development of Uganda is the biggest tragedy of our time.
Surprisingly, we also have a good number of people above 35 years who equally do not make sense of things like peace, infrastructure developments, security, to their well being and to the flourishing of democracy, rule of law, and enjoyment of freedoms.
To be honest, the high prevalence of people with this mindset is the worst political danger our Country faces today. Such people can vote for anyone including a drama person or even a popular sex worker if that is what pleases them.
Important issues of ideology, peace, security, Regional integration, Patriotism/Pan-Americanism and infrastructure development, etc do not matter for such people. What they are after is the direct benefit to them of any program/project of the Government. What they put in their pockets there and then.
In my own opinion, this ripe contradiction arising from the massive immunization of young people when NRM took power, the improvement in standards of living, high number of educated Citizens due to policies like UPE, USE, improvement in life expectancy due to improved health services must be addressed before it leads to a political crisis.
The interventions undertaken should be in both form/appearance and content/substance.
- a) In Form/Appearance,
There should be immediate consideration to step up the number of young people in positions of appointment and in Civil Service. We need to have a serious percentage of people below 50 years in Government positions to more than 50% to reflect fairness inline with population demography.
To make this happen requires both political will and legislation to reduce the retirement age by ten (10) years but increase retirement benefits.
This intervention by form or appearance is important to use as justification that these young people have been catered for in Government positions in both civil service and political positions. Can we have 60% of the Ministers below 45 years? Can we have 100% of the State Ministers below the age of 35 years?
The need to equally increase the number of females in both political and civil service must be undertaken because 51% of Ugandans are females.
- b) In Substance/Content.
In substance, there is a need to reset our learning programs in schools right from Primary to Tertiary Institutions to incorporate Strategic National Interests in nearly all subjects. The student of Biology should know the importance of roads to his or her well being just like a student of Literature in English know the importance of sex determination in his or her future marriage.
This is something our Education system must urgently consider because it is producing Rebellious Citizens who don’t understand real-life issues of Potico-Social and Socio-Economic importance. It is producing hooligans who think burning roads, destroying Court buildings are freedoms, or even peaceful demonstrations. The education system is producing less informed Citizens with very good grades. It is actually compounding the situation making it become worse.
There is a need to indoctrinate our young people while at school/Institutions starting with all Education Officers/teachers. A teacher who can not understand that generating enough electricity will lead to more jobs is as useless as a farmer who fails to appreciate the presence of reliable rainfall patterns in good farming practices.
Teaching our children Luo, Bantu, Ngoni migrations are okay but how can an S4 graduate appreciate Government achievements using his or her knowledge of these migrations? These are things we must honestly discuss publicly and take decisions about.
We would rather teach Patriotism and Pan-Americanism bringing the migrations as justifications for us to love each other as one people than to teach Luo migration without relating it to the present-day needs of our Country/Continent. To me, doing this is promoting absolute learning.
MATUA JOB RICHARD
NRM CADRE INTAKE 02/2010
COORDINATOR OF NRM MEDIA ACTIVISTS ( NALI CORE MEDIA ACTIVISTS)