With an estimated 1.2 billion young people between the ages of 15 and 24, the vast majority of them living in developing countries, youth are both a policy and political priority for many countries around the world.
These numbers represent major development challenges, but also great opportunity.
Youth are particularly vulnerable to economic problems. They often do not have access to savings accounts, credit, or insurance due to lack of education and employment.
Governments are aware of this and many are working to make it easier for young people to access financial services so they can transition smoothly into adulthood.
With the burden of unemployment becoming the biggest challenge for the youth, both educated and uneducated, the Uhuru Institute for Social Development has organized a four day camp to help in stimulating the mindset of the young population.
The camp named the Kyoto 2 leadership and entrepreneurship camp officially got underway on Monday at the Kyoto Spiritual Resort in Namugongo with over 30 youths taking part.
Running under the theme “NO ECCUSES” the target is to make sure the youth are equipped with practical knowledge that can sustain them other than waiting for white collar jobs that are very scarce nowadays.
Leonard Okello, The CEO of the Uhuru Institute deliberated on several challenges that the youth face today and hinted on the possible solutions.
“When you have young active minds and bodies that do not have avenues to exert their energies, we risk having a disorderly society,” he said.
“The youth need to become entrepreneurs to break even in life. Some of them unutilized land, but do not farm, yet the potential in agribusiness is immense,” Okello added.
Among the challenges that he pointed out include; poor education, skewed national budget, land, quality of social services, income inequality among others.
Okello also asserted that the objective in organizing the youth camps is to empower them in areas of civic responsibility, business productivity, leadership and personal development.
This is the 10th edition of camp that has been organized all over Uganda and with the theme “NO EXCUSES,” the message is that money will never be enough nor will time be perfect. The key is to start.
Jane Amuge Okello, the operations director at Uhuru Institute indicates the youth will be equipped with knowledge in various sectors including taxation, business and business law, social life, production among others.
Testimony of the camp
445 youth from various regions of Uganda have been trained since inception of this programme.
Of these, at least 40% are now successful entrepreneurs, involved in agribusiness, manufacturing and fashion.
During a 2015 youth camp, one participant Julius Ayebare used Shs50,000 which was given as transport refund, to start a business.
He had access to family land which was lying idle and invested in mixed farming (Irish, passion fruits, rabbits and poultry).
Today, he earns Shs1,500,000 per week from passion fruits alone, during the season. He supplies to major markets in Kabale. His life has transformed tremendously.