KAMPALA — Parents and guardians in Uganda have been urged to help their children discover and nurture their talents as one of the avenues available for the country to reduce joblessness.
Speaking at the National Youth Labour Conference held in Kampala on Monday, May 23, Mr. Mondo Kyateeka, the Assistant Commissioner for Youth and Children Affairs in the gender ministry said that young people have talents that can be nurtured for prosperity.
He stated that talent can be turned into a profession that can foster development and help address unemployment among young people.
“In the world we are all endowed differently and our destinies have also been planned to be different. It is important that when you see a talent in your child support that talent. That talent maybe the food basket for your home in the future,” Kyateeka said, stating that: “not a everyday is going to be a doctor, an engineer or a lawyer”.
“So, if your child’s talent is in music, support the child in Music. The fastest growing industry in the world today is the creative industry and most of the people there earn handsomely.”
“Don’t discourage children from doing what they want to do especially if it’s not harmful to them and the family,” he said.
A recent Ugandan National Household Survey has revealed how employment in critical sectors of the economy including construction, trade, hotel, and restaurant decreased during and in the aftermath of the pandemic, making it even harder for young people and women to get a shot at employment opportunities.
Even before the Covid-19 crisis, young people in Uganda already faced employment challenges. But with the economic downturn caused by the pandemic, addressing these issues is now more urgent than ever, said Sadat Zziwa popularly known as Zaga, a former gang member, who has become a peace ambassador.
Zziwa who is the chairperson National Youth Advocacy Platform (NYAP) in Uganda said that there is need for the government to promote and sustain a conducive investment climate which guarantees investors to focus on the long-term plans without the fear of losing their investments, in case of change of government.
“This is what creates jobs for the local skilled labour force,” he said, also calling on Uganda Parliament to fast track the much sought-after wage bill.
The global pandemic has been challenging for many people in Uganda, with recent reports indicating that the situation is hardest for young people.
With youth unemployment standing 64% to 70% in Uganda, about 30% of the youth who have received institutional qualifications are unable to find jobs.
The situation is even worse for the semi-skilled and unskilled youths.
Evelyn Zalwango, NYAP
Project coordinator said conference which brought together national and regional youth leaders, University students, youth Members of Parliament, civil society organizations and representatives from Ministry of Gender, the National Youth Council, Uganda National Students Association, Interparty Youth platform, Uganda Industrial research institute, Directorate of Industrial Training and PSFU provided a platform for discussion on emerging challenges and opportunities for the youth in Uganda’s Labour market.
She added that the deliberations seeks to elevate the potential and contribution of Uganda’s young population in the competitive world today.
“It has served as a platform to encourage the youth to be more innovate and create jobs that will lead to wealth creation for a better and a safe future,” she said.