Victoria University in partnership with Centre for Urban Studies and Research financed by AVSI Foundation Uganda held a PUBLIC DIALOGUE ON GOOD GOVERNANCE AND YOUTH PARTICIPATION on Friday May 27th, 2016 from 8.30am – 5.00pm, at Victoria University campus on Jinja Road.
Going by the theme “Good governance and youth participation”, youths were advised to use social media beyond just Facebooking and tweeting, advising them to instead devote the time to building apps that are of benefit to them.
Giving an example of Malaysia, one of the day’s presenters, Anderson Mugisha, Director of the Federation of Young Entrepreneurs Association in Uganda told the youths that social media is one of the tools being used to develop Malaysia.
He said that Malaysia opened up what it calls a ‘’Multimedia Hub”, where youths gather to share knowledge on the use of ICT and this has not only created jobs for youths but is also being used to impart skills in youths.
He urged for the same to be introduced in Uganda to solve the current problem of youth unemployment that stands at over 83%. Anderson Mugisa Howard reiterated the need for adoption and adaptation of E-governance into the planning, operational and functional areas of individual enterprises, in urban governance and into the development paradigm of the country and this will result into dividends that portend a unique selling proposition for youth involved in ICT startups and applications development and use of low energy consuming ICT infrastructure necessary for E-governance and factoring local content into the information resource model and sharing platforms.
The Chief Executive Officer Terp Consult Mr. Odrek Rwabwogo, emphasised the importance of Agribusiness as a key plank in Uganda’s economic development as it continues to employee majority Ugandans standing at more than 80% and encompasses a wider catchment of a multiplicity of industries including value addition, processing, transport, storage, commodity trading, warehouse receipting, food supply for nutrition, agro input for medicines, financing and cooperatives, agro inputs like ferterlisers, hoes, tractor assembly etc and ict for agriculture, irrigation and modern technologies in cropping, animal husbandry, poultry, fish farming and a host of others should be the next vehicle for skilled and unskilled youth employment and all in attendance as benefits are infinite.
Another presenter of the day, Denis Kagimu, Technical Director SOMESA SOLUTIONS urged youths not to end at praying for money from God but instead use the skills given to them to create that money. SOMESA SOLUTIONS is an an open source technology with integrated online ICT solutions and information sharing resources and platforms invited and enlisted consensus from the audience on the strategic advantage latent in the capture, processing, storage and sharing of development and key learning resources for the benefit of all generating and consuming stakeholders leveraging key outcomes that are key to harnessing indigenous knowledge systems and the intersection of the modern and next generation resources for development solutions for youth employment.
“God does not give cash. He gives skills and knowledge and it is these that you should use to generate money. However much you pray, you will never wake up to sacks of money surrounding you.”
The days presenters emphasized the use of ICT infrastructure tools and platforms to maximize operational advantage by tapping into the information pool of available opportunities to quench the thirst for innovation and satisfy the hunger for personal, community and national development.
There was consensus on key issue advanced by Mr. Mugisa that majority of Ugandan youths lack the necessary drive to qualify as employable or entreprenural agents because of lack of commitment, indiscipline, lack of integrity, lack of a working culture and countering these will be key through mentorship, training, counselling and role playing.
Dr. Amin Tamale, an Urban Specialist and the Director of the Center for Urban Studies and Research called on KCCA management to learn from best practices and lessons from Dar es Salaam City, Singapore and Malaysia e.g Setting up a radio and television station with an online live stream platform for information sharing and city stakeholders and community dialogues just like Dar-Es-Salaam City in Tanzania; Integration of skilled graduate youths into the Teaching Service at Primary and Secondary levels to augment and address the endemic deficits in staffing at these levels for a period of at least 5yrs a move intended to absorb employable skills into the national development process like Singapore did.
On the other hand, the youths expressed their willingness to work though called up on government to put in place policies that create opportunities for the youths.
The Public Dialogue attracted over 200 attendants and was organised by David Kasimbazi, the Project Coordinator of Centre for Urban Studies and Reseach. The huge success his earlier Public Dialogue PROMOTING GOOD URBAN GOVERNANCE IN UGANDA “Challenges and Opportunities” that was also held at Victoria Uiiversity on 7th April,2016 at Victoria University Kampala gave birth to AVSI Foundation spondored PUBLIC DIALOGUE ON GOOD GOVERNANCE AND YOUTH PARTICIPATION.