The Minister of Gender, Labor and Social Development, Janat Mukwaya has said they are going to refocus the youth livelihood program to make it more productive and sustainable.
“There has been a general concern in all districts that the youth groups are failing to use the money to start up sustainable projects. Some of them are using the money for other issues while others have started projects that have failed before they can even make a profit,” said Mukwaya.
“I think the problem is because the youth rushed into forming groups just to access money. These are people who have never worked together or even done a project together. That is why they are finding it hard to success,” explained the minister.
The Youth Livelihood Programme (YLP) is a Rolling Government of Uganda Programme, targeting the poor and unemployed youth in all the districts in the country.
The Programme is implemented under the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development (MGLSD).
It is financed initially from Government own resources with minimal support from development partners.
YLP is a community demand-driven Programme that is implemented with guidance from the Central Government and the Local Governments.
The funds are advanced to the Youth Interest Groups (YIG) in form of a Revolving Fund in order to increase outreach and enhance sustainability of the Programme.
She added: “We are therefore going to re-visit these projects in our next round. We would prefer groups which already exist and have been working together for a year at least. We are also going to retool the community development officers so that they are able to help the groups choose projects that are fit for that particular area and timing.”
Mukwaya noted that as much as the youth are proving to be insufficient in handling the money, it will be a disaster to totally scrap off the youth fund because it is the only way to keep the youth productive and self-employed.
“If the youth are left idol and jobless, they will be a security threat to the country. That is why we need to guide them more, put in extra effort to make sure that these government programs that the government is putting in place for them becoming successful in one way or the other.’’
The minister was speaking at the social development sector review meeting which took place today at Hotel Africana today.
Under the theme, “Accelerating Social Transformation through Promotion of Labor Productivity, Employments and Rights to Vulnerable Groups”, the two-day summit which commenced today is being attended by district officers, RDC’S, district chairpersons, COWAS and officials from the ministry of gender.
The main purpose of the meeting is to review the performance of projects under the ministry, and also find solutions to the challenges that are facing the sector.