BY: BADRU WALUSANSA & DEBORAH NAMIRIMU
The 2016 General elections in Uganda will remarkably go down in history for having guaranteed effective youth inclusion. Youths ideas about electoral democracy in Uganda were often trending all over social media such as Facebook, WhatsApp and Twitter. Several youth dialogues, conferences and meetings created space for youths to discuss the country’s state of affairs. Across the country youths stood for political positions and majority of them won these positions.
We critically assume those youths who were voted for will not forget the agenda of an ordinary Ugandan youth. It is worrisome to describe an ordinary Ugandan youth, while doing so, one cannot underestimate the key unending problems that an ordinary Ugandan youth still grapples with such as unemployment, poverty, illiteracy, ill-health, social and political exclusion.
It is quite surprising that leaders who the youth vote for don’t capitalize on forging sustainable solutions to youth problems as they (leaders) only prioritize their needs. This explains the lack of trust that the youth often invest in their leaders and perhaps government. Most of the demonstrations or protests fueled by political frustrations are orchestrated by youths; Is it because they are the most energetic or it’s how they spend their leisure?
The answer is no! It’s because of the earlier problems that we took mention of. The future of youths is very promising under circumstance where government is willing to holistically attend to their plight. Youths need opportunities; better health; education; social and political inclusion. Equipping youths with practical, empowerment and capacity building skills is rewarding, as it will help to dwindle all sorts of economic deprivations susceptible to youths. Government programmes such as Youth Livelihood Fund should be revised in order to harmonize their effectiveness. Youths don’t need hand outs; they need hope for a better tomorrow.