Kadaga advocates for more financial support to the youth

The Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga, has launched a Report on the State of Youth in Uganda with a call to government to increase financial support to the youth through the Innovation Fund.

Kadaga said that many Ugandan youth have the potential to do business, some of which is growing the economy through tax returns. She added that more incentives for youth can improve their attitude to entrepreneurship.

"Many youth have complained that the Innovation Fund has been hard to access. We appreciate the Youth Livelihood and Women Empowerment Funds, but our youth need more to invest in their own businesses," says Kadaga.

The Speaker was addressing Youth during the 2nd Uganda Youth Business Forum held at the Kampala Serena Hotel, on Monday, 10 December 2018.

The forum, held under the theme: "Building Strategic Partnerships for Sustainable Youth Entrepreneurship and Development", was attended by youth, political actors and entrepreneurs, to draw a plan that can advance youth in business.

The Report on the State of Youth in Uganda was compiled by the Uganda Parliamentary Forum on Youth Affairs, and highlights several issues affecting the youth.

Kadaga noted that for the country to produce a successful crop of youth, Government ought to improve the curricula that promote early childhood innovation and practical skills, in a bid to create more entrepreneurs than job seekers.

The Chairperson of the UPFY, Hon. Mwine Mpaka (NRM, Youth, Western) said that the Report was compiled following the August 2017 Commonwealth Youth Ministers meeting held in Uganda, which laid the ground for the study on how to improve youth progress in the country.

"There is need for a Youth Development Fund that is easily accessible by our young entrepreneurs. Alternatively, a Youth Development Bank can encourage youth to be creative and get out of unemployment," said Mwine Mpaka.

He added that there was a need for government to establish a fully-fledged functional national graduate service scheme to empower young graduates.

The Political and Economic Ambassador at the US Embassy, Kim Harrington, who delivered the keynote address, noted America's eagerness to reduce trade barriers with African states.

"Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg started off their businesses as young men. They exhibited immense drive and commitment, the same of which is evident in Uganda. Harnessing this commitment is the key to the future," Harrington said.

Youth at the forum called for reduction on taxes imposed on their business innovations, which they said had made many of them shy away from investing in start-ups.

The Forum undertook the study on the State of Youth Affairs in Uganda by assessing the government and private sector contribution to youth development. It is informed by the demands outlined in the National Youth Manifesto 2015/16 - 2019/20.

Source: Parliament of Uganda