Bigirimana Warns Over-Age ‘Youths’

Ministry of Gender Permanent Secretary Pius Bigirimana has warned people who are masquerading as youths in order to get money under the Youth Livelihood Programme (YLP).

Addressing journalists at the ministry headquarters today, Bigirimana said some older people were applying for money meant for the country’s job-hungry youths.

“I don’t want briefcase projects there are some people who are even about 40 [years] pretending to be youths asking for money. I want to warn those people that we will get them,” he said.

He revealed that such cases had been reported in Kalungu, Buikwe, Wakiso, and Mukono districts. Bigirimana dismissed claims by some youths, that they were denied money because they didn’t support the ruling party.

“This is money for all youths. It shouldn’t be politicised,” he said.

The permanent secretary reported that some 20,000 youths from 27 districts had received money for projects in the past six months: the remaining districts will be covered this year, he added.

“We have so far financed 1,563 youth group projects worth Shs 11.5bn. These surpassed our project target of 1,000 [for the last financial year],” Bigirimana said.

He explained that his officials considered poverty levels, population, and the size of the districts before prioritising. Youths who borrow the money are expected to repay it within three years. However, after one year of taking money, it will attract an interest of five per cent to cater for inflation, Bigirimana said.

About 40,000 youths are expected to have received funds by the end of the 201415 financial year. In last year’s budget, government allocated Shs 35bn for YLP to reach the remaining districts. A total of Shs 162bn is to be given to youths under the YLP to start up income-generating projects.

Uganda’s youth unemployment is the worst in the region, with close to 62 per cent on the street, according to recent figures by the NGO, ActionAid. The problem cuts across the educated and illiterate youths. Some 40,000 graduates leave university every year, while the job market can only take 8,000 – raising the need for youths to create their own enterprises.

Source : The Observer

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