President Museveni has called on the unemployment youth to be patient as government works out a formula to provide employment for every Ugandan.
The president’s message is contained in a four-page article released on Friday. In the article, the president talks about a number of issues including by-elections, youth unemployment and unbalanced reporting by newspapers including state owned Newspaper -The New Vision.
It is estimated that more than 400,000 young Ugandans graduate every year. However, fewer than 100,000 are absorbed into formal employment. According to the 2014 National Housing and Population Census, riding Boda Boda is one of the fastest growing occupations among the youth in Uganda.
The occupation is no longer for school dropouts. University graduates have since joined the business. This is why you find smartly dressed and English speaking boda boda riders of recent.
The president acknowledges that, NRM government is at fault for not creating enough jobs for the growing youth population.
‘ ‘ It is the slow pace of creating jobs for them [ youth] that is at fault. What caused the slow pace, especially in the past, was the wrong budgeting after 1990 when the Ugandan economy started recovering. The wrong budgeting takes the form of scattering resources everywhere and trying to be everywhere but end up being nowhere.’’ The president stated.
The president says since 2006, things started to improve and the future looks bright for Ugandans.
‘ ‘ In 2006, I put my foot down and insisted on prioritizing the roads and electricity. As a consequence, the budget of the Ministry of Works went from 398.2 billion shillings to 4,587.3 billion shillings today. The one of Energy went from 178.9 billion shillings to 2,319.8 billion shillings. As a consequence, we have many new tarmac roads and more electricity.’ The president noted.
‘ ‘ If it was not for the mistake of Bujagali, which we are solving, the price of electricity would be, by now, lower, especially for manufacturing. It is these more factories that will create jobs for the youth. All the NRM leaders should concentrate on this and so should the youths themselves. Anybody who fights or delays factories is an enemy of the youth. You go to the RIHAM factories in Kawempe and see how the 400 youths there are happy. With the more and cheaper electricity, it is those experiences that we shall proliferate.’’
The president called on NRM leaders and the RDCs everywhere to engage all the youth groups and explain to them government’s programmes for them. The president says this is apart from everybody in Government knowing that more and more factories are the future for the country.
‘‘Fortunately, we have the natural resources. We have been lacking electricity. We now have it.’’ He noted.
The president attached the press for what he calls unbalanced reporting and bad influence on the youth.
‘‘The Press should be balanced. Otherwise, they will become part of the problem and not part of the solution. The Press also misleads the people, especially the youth. After the Kyadondo by-election, for instance, the news-papers at least, spent alot of space and time talking about the youth but in a defective and confusing way.’’
The president says youth in Uganda are now 78% of the population, thanks to the Uganda families who are not lazy to have babies and the NRM that has improved some aspects of the health services and created security for those children, including the street children, to grow up, the social-economic problems they face notwithstanding. He adds: this is credit of the NRM that our slum-dweller children can today even make it to Parliament because those avenues are there.
Mr. Museveni called on editors and news persons to know that when we talk about the management of society, we are not talking about biology only but also about ideology. What is the ideological position of those youth or those elders? Youth or elders are biological categories. They will not help society by themselves.
‘ ‘It is only when they espouse correct and accurate viewpoints vis a vis society, vis a vis the world, that they become part of the solution. When Kabaka Mwanga slaughtered the new believers in 1885, he was 17 years old. He was a youth. At Independence in 1962, almost all the actors were youth. Mutesa was 38 years old, Obote was 37 years old etc. Some of the Ministers such as Ibingira, Nekyon etc., were 28 years old. Idi Amin at Independence was 37 years old. John Kakonge (who was UPC Secretary General at the time) was 26 years old. Belonging to the biological category of youth did not help them to solve the problems of the country. By 1966, the country was in a crisis’’ he said.
He added: In our own time, we were, of course, biologically youth. However, we took different ideological positions. Quite early on, by 1965, the youth I belonged to ideologically, took a position that, eventually, evolved the four principles of the NRM: patriotism (anti-sectarianism); Pan-Africanism; social-economic metamorphosis; and democracy. The other youth took the ideological position of sectarianism, parochialism and subservience to foreign interests.
In his four page article, the president noted that some of the youth on the other side joined the State Research and the UPC young supporters that were committing crimes against the population were actually called “Yusi” (youth).
‘ ‘Our respective positions were, eventually, tested in the field of battle (two wars ─ 1971-79 and 1981-86). Those who preached patriotism, who preached Pan-Africanism etc., won at a high cost. Uganda recovered and built institutions following some of those principles. When our principles are followed, we succeed. Where they are not, we under-perform. It is, therefore, a pity to see media houses (including the New Vision) not helping our Youth to find their bearings.The African people need prosperity and security. The NRM’s conclusion, after many years of study, is that it is the four principles that are and will guarantee these. Uganda already has peace for the first time in the last 500 years. It is because of some of the youth of the 1960s and 1970s that took a correct ideological position. What are these media houses telling the youth of today? The newspapers (including the New Vision) are telling our youth that biology is enough. ‘’
He concluded: Well, biology is not enough. It must be biology and ideology. Which ideology, then? Progressive ideology or reactionary one?