KAMPALA – Youth unemployment is a serious problem on the African continent, where the share of the population of young people between the ages of 15-24 is rapidly growing, but not in tandem with the job market.
Uganda has one of the youngest and most rapidly growing populations in the world and preparing them for productive jobs is a social and political priority for the government. About 53% of Uganda’s population is younger than 15, well above Sub-Saharan Africa’s average of 43.2%.
About 500,000 people enter the labor market every year, hence the number of new entrants into the labor force will be growing and will be younger in the next few decades; currently, 64% of the unemployed are aged 24 and under.
To tackle the problem of job creation and market gaps, Dr. Peter Kimbowa better known as PK who is in semi-retirement has urged business leaders to form sustainable and viable partnerships to ensure mutual growth.
He was speaking at the inaugural 2020 Business Trend pace setter cocktail dinner hosted by Yvonne Mpanga Simwogerere at Golden Tulip Hotel in Kampala last Friday.
Dr. Kimbowa whose is a Board member and adviser to the Boards in; ESKOM Uganda Limited, Equity Bank, Baylor College of Medicine and the Petroleum Authority of Uganda asked business leaders to share their entrepreneurial and business experience with young people to help them learn how to make money on their own
Dr. Kimbowa who has spent most of his time mentoring a new generation of business leaders in Uganda also urged Entrepreneurs on financial discipline before rallying them against festivity culture which he said tends to erode away capital leading to massive downfall.
Themed planning for profitability this decade, the event was also attended by other businessmen and Public relations gurus whose remarks rotated around viable partnerships and helping young entrepreneurs from various stages of life and business development to grow their ideas into jobs.
Patrick Ayota, a veteran accountant and the Deputy Managing Director of the National Social Security Fund revealed to business leaders that the fund seeks to link potentially profitable and sustainable businesses that can drive positive social change and returns to investments with funding of up to Uganda UGX.74 million.
Through this initiative, he said that NSSF will also convene potential local and foreign stakeholders in Uganda that can invest in the potential of local entrepreneurs.
Increasingly, businesses seeking to grow are struggling to find the capital and technical assistance required which is financing amounts between UGX.74 million and at-least 1 billion. This is because traditional financial vehicles are not willing to bet on them, and providing technical assistance is not profitable; as raised in the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) Global Report of 2015, and the Uganda Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Report 2018.
He strongly business executives on poor business pricing, strategy formulation without adequate staff preparation adding that innovations that remain on paper hinder proper business growth.
“95% luck and 5%preparation doesn’t mean gambling because the more CEOs prepare the more likely they are to get lucky CEOs who have a brand promise that is deep-rooted in the entire human resources structures are more likely to be Profitable,” he said.
At the cocktail party that lasted for over3 hours during which guests snacked on a simple spread of food while sharing business knowledge, Ms. Cynthia Mpanga the Standard Chartered Bank’s Corporate Affairs Manager lectured business executives on brand management for profitability.
She said that brand building and growth begins with the choice of their staff, management’s deliberate effort and willingness to shape perceptions.
She said that business and brand development go beyond just making money to personal development, learning sales, and marketing, team-building, skills like leadership and communication, relationship building, relationship marketing among others.
Others who spoke were Mr. Dharmendra Agarwal, Managing Director of Afro Finance and Leasing. On his part, he said that financing a business venture need not encroach on their profitability but can be done within manageable spread installments to ensure cost management.
Mr. Julius Oluka, Director GoldKach, UK based Financial Advisor lectured tycoons on sustaining their wealth.
He said that very few people actually get proactive with their finances and take initiative and responsibility and that very few focus on what they can control and get in action.
“The truth is, growing wealth doesn’t have to be complicated. Wealthy people don’t have some secret you don’t. They just do things that most people aren’t willing to do,” he said.
Mrs. Simwogerere, the Directors, Global Business Trends, a budding trademark of Good works MCM Ltd (Marketing Communications and Media) said the initiative seeks to share innovative ideas that ensure revenue generation and retention within the country.