Manifesto Implementation Unit Director (MIU) Willis Bashaasha has challenged all youth in Uganda to focus their energies on engaging in government programmes which were designed for them in the NRM Manifesto 2021-26.
The MIU boss made the call in his message to the youth in the wake of the commemoration of the International Youth Day. Approved by the United Nations in 1999, the international youth day is celebrated every year on August 12 under different themes.
This year’s international theme was Intergenerational Solidarity: Creating a World for all Ages. However, Uganda commemorated the day on August 26, with main national celebrations held at Kaunda Grounds in Gulu city under a remodeled theme of Intergenerational Solidarity: The Role Of Youth In The Implementation Of The Parish Development Model.
According to Bashaasha, this year’s youth day theme is a reminder to the youth about the government’s commitment to positively impact their livelihood through putting in place programmes which the youth can engage in to eradicate poverty and youth unemployment.
“Government appreciates the challenges of youth unemployment, which is why it has various poverty eradication progarmmes tailored specifically for the youth. My humble appeal therefore is that every youth out there should embrace these initiatives — starting with the Parish Development Model — so as to be productive to both self and county,” Bashaasha noted.
Bashaasha cautioned the youth against listening to too much background noise and negative energy preached by political schemers who target youth.
“Society now has so many self-seekers whose interest is to use youths to drive their own selfish agendas. However, I want to caution youth to be mindful of their own personal goals so as to avoid being derailed by any negative forces,” Bashaasha said, stressing that the thin line between failure and success depends on choices one makes.
“The opportunities necessary for our youth to succeed are there and they have always been included in all NRM Manifestos but it remains the will of one to either grab them and succeed or to disregard them and take the path of empty lamentations which definitely leads to failure,” he said.
He added that in the current Uganda, youths are deliberately included in the socioeconomic development agenda at all levels and sectors, which is why it is up to the youth to place themselves wherever they can fit so as to be productive to themselves and the country at large.
“Even the bible guides that the energy of one’s youth is what prepares one for his old age. That means it is compulsory that youth become productive now so that they do not become a burden to their children and themselves when old. This therefore is not the time for empty politicking and sloganeering because old age will be the time for honest accountability of how one spent their youthful time,” he said.
He noted that as the entity tasked with monitoring manifesto implementation, MIU will use its monitoring and evaluation matrix to ensure that implementation focal persons exhaustively help youths to access opportunities that the NRM Manifesto 2021-26 provides for them.
It is worth noting that ever since the NRM government came to power, it has initiated many youth-empowerment programmes meant to create wealth for Uganda’s young adults for sustainable socioeconomic change.
Among the notable programs include: Youth Livelihood Fund, Youth Venture Capital Fund, Uganda Women Enterprise Programme (UWEP), Quality Apprenticeship and Volunteerism, and now PDM among others. On the political front, youth affirmative action includes: youth councilors at all local government political levels, youth MPs and lowering the presidential age limit to enable the possibility of a youthful president of Uganda who may be as young as 18 years, among others. Bashaasha thus encouraged youth that with such avenues available, the youth have a duty to seek information about these programmes and actively participate in them, especially now that they are aided with the various ICT tools which were established by the NRM manifestos.