President Yoweri Museveni on Saturday urged the youth in the country to wake up and contribute to the development, adding that that would help the young people fight poverty and joblessness.
“I want the youth to wake up so that we develop our country in order to come out of poverty and joblessness,” he said.
Museveni was addressing the National Youth Council meeting that is currently taking place at the Uganda Manufacturers Association (UMA) Conference Hall at Lugogo in Kampala Kampala.
He advised them to follow the ideology and strategy of the National Resistance Movement (NRM), saying this would make it easy for them and him to work together.
The president assured the youth in particular and all Ugandans in general that nobody would disturb the prevailing peace and the security in the country.
He said that the NRM government`s fore sighted planning had prescribed solutions to the challenges facing the youth such as lack of property, jobs and skills and called upon the youth to support the government in its efforts to increase the Youth Fund meant to empower them to undertake different production activities, including adding value to products made locally.
He said government would provide maize processing machines in different areas of Masindi District, among others, where a lot of maize is produced, calling on the youth undertake and interest their parents in commercial agriculture.
Museveni advised the Youth Secretariat to engage scientists from Makerere University so as to get scientific explanations on what to do to improve production ventures. He proposed to the youth in the country to have action plans geared towards stopping the haemorrhage of their country’s annual expenditure on imports worth about US$7 billion (Shs 25.9 trillion).
“You are very lucky in a very rich country and your parents are rich because they spend money to enrich others by importing these things. I want an action plan by the youth so that we stop this haemorrhage of spending US$7 billion on imports every year,” he said.
Museveni further asked the youth to know how to defend their interests and what is good for them so that government can support them better. He also warned them against land fragmentation practices and only work to consolidate families’ pieces of land keeping in mind that they should embrace of shares and parcel out the monetary proceeds from the activities carried on other then parcelling out land into uneconomic units.
He challenged the youth to help their parents to embrace commercial farming by encouraging them to abandon subsistence farming that is still a big problem. He said that 32 percent of Ugandans are currently in money economy while the remaining 68 percent are mere spectators.