Youths Demand More Inclusive Participation in Gov’t Programs

Proscovia Bitman the President, Municipal Development Forum in Entebbe speaking at the dialogue held at Victoria University on Thursday. Photo by Pat Robert Larubi/ChimpReports

Youths demand that government rethinks its approach in implementing its programs by adopting participatory and inclusive civic engagement. This they say will go a long way in empowering the young people to transform their lives and developing communities. Despite government’s efforts in ensuring youth representation at all levels, side effects they claim that their involvement in decision making hasn’t been realized.

The plea was made Friday during a public dialogue on ‘Urban governance and Development’ held at Victoria University in Kampala and attracted several young students, salve entrepreneurs, store leaders and government technocrats.
A number of participants decried the lack of resources as well as information on government initiatives asking that local communities be part of the planning and implementation of programs.

Mr. Abel Asiimwe the Supervisor of the Employment Services Bureau at KCCA said that government is creating platforms to empower youths through skills training and employment. He however urged youths to embrace entrepreneurship since government can only provide limited jobs for the thousands of unemployed graduates.

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“The KCCA Employment Bureau is offering ICT training to youth for free in addition to finding them job placements in various organizations. To the uneducated, we have non-formal skills programs such as the Kabalagala Youth Centre and Kyanja agriculture demonstration farm,” he said.

The discussion also stressed the need to depoliticize government programs which participants said has hampered the success and consequently frustrating economic transformation.

Entebbe Municipality has adopted a different model of governance that facilitates equal representation and citizens to take center stage in the development process. This is representative of the private and informal sectors all of whose input s crucial for the area’s development.

“We look at development in terms of what benefits we envisage but not political affiliation, occupation or education levels. Ours is about citizens voices being heard and being part of development. This approach has worked for us and brought about tangible results. Entebbe residents have become police officers for government projects,” said Proscovia Bitman President Municipal Development Forum, Entebbe.

She wants other cities and towns to replicate the model in order to enhance service delivery that prioritizes citizens’ demands.


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