69 Year-Old UN Turns Focus On Innovation

To solve some of society’s most complex problems, institutions of higher learning and development partners are aocating innovation.

Fred Lubega and Dickens Kamanzi have taken innovation a notch higher by propping up their support system for crop monitoring and innovation, code-named ‘Namazzi’.

Namazzi, a prototype robot, resembles a medium- size gas cylinder and is fixed with a water container at its rear, which can hold up to two litres of water. According to Lubega, it can irrigate crops within a 300 and 500 metre radius. It is also fitted with a camera at the top, which helps monitor the robot’s activities.

“Namazzi also has ports through which you can charge your phone or connect a light bulb,” Lubega said.

He and Kamanzi are some of the youths that attended the United Nations Youth Innovators hangout at Sheraton gardens last week. The hangout coincided with celebrations to mark 69 years of UN’s existence.

This year’s celebrations were particulary aimed at showcasing innovative enterprises by youths, discussing key issues that may foster job creation for youths and promoting platforms to enable youths express their views and participate in national debates.

“Most of the time, we focus on skilling the youths but let me ask, aren’t there youths with skills? Are we providing platforms for these skills to flourish? We want to form a non-traditional partnership with you to understand and help young people differently,” said Ahunna Eziakonwa-Onochie, the UN resident coordinator.

Uganda is experiencing unprecedented levels of youth unemployment with most graduates from higher institutions of learning unable to get jobs, according to the Uganda Bureau of Statistics (Ubos). Kamanda Bataringaya, the minister of state for Primary Education, spoke of the urgent need for government and development partners to prioritise youths’ needs and work at finding plausible solutions.

He represented the minister of Foreign Affairs. The fete ended with awards for outstanding innovations of up to Shs 5m. Among these were Brian Bagyenda’s ‘call a condom.’ He operates La Bonamour Ltd, a private company which supplies condoms within 15 minutes of order.

Source : The Observer

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