Youth unemployment poses a serious political, economic and social challenge to the country, including its leadership, according to the economic experts.
Latest statistics shows that about 700,000 young people reach working age every year in Uganda. This is expected to rise to about one million in the decade from 2030 to 2040.
According to a new World Bank report, this is already creating a mismatch between labour demand and supply.
Given the impact of Covid-19 on the young people in Uganda and Africa at large, the Horn of Africa Youth Network (HoAYN), a regional network of youth, has engaged different stakeholders including the government to find ways on how to help young people come on board amidst economic recovery.
In a meeting held at Imperial Royale Hotel in Kampala, Sankale Ole Keis, the chairman of HoAYN told The Nile Post that the young people are not happy about the slow implementation of projects aimed at improving their livelihoods.
“There is slow implementation of these funds for the young people. These are funds that are in place to ensure that young people get startup capital to do businesses, to run ventures but the implementation is a little bit slow. They complain that the funds are there but the process is a bit bureaucratic,” he said.
Keis urged the government to come up with an economic stimulus package and to create opportunities for young people to help them recover from Covid-19 effects.
“At least in Kenya, they have been able to come up with different economic stimulus packages for the young people like engaging them like in day-to-day activities. It’s an initiative by the government to keep young people active by giving them jobs to clean the towns, working with youth groups among others,” he said.
Uganda’s economy is projected to grow at around 6% and has consistently hovered in the mid-to-upper single digits for more than two decades. However, the number of new jobs resulting from this growth has been disappointingly low and of poor quality.
HoAYN is currently implementing a regional youth programme aimed at strengthening the advocacy and the organisational capacities of regional civil society organisations and youth networks to contribute to realising youth’s rights.