State Minister for Finance in charge of General Duties David Bahati has urged Ugandan youth to avoid tendencies that could lead them into corruption. According to the Minister, the Ugandan youth who make up of 78 per cent of the population have energies that they can instead use to prosper.
“Do not be greedy. It is possible to make money at a young age, but through the right process,” Bahati, who was chief guest at a youth conference held today at the Hotel Triangle in Kampala, said.
The conference was held under the theme, ‘African solutions to African problems’. “We Africans must solve our problems, and young people have a key role to play,” Bahati said, and called upon the youth to be innovative especially in ICT, saying the government approved Shs 15 billion towards innovations..
According to Minister Bahati, other than depending on external donors, the government will mobilise domestic resources to fund its activities. “If you’re making your budget as a homestead and you expect 40% to be covered by your neighbor then there is a problem,” the minister illustrated.
Expounding on donor influence in Africa, Minister Bahati said Africans need to make their own laws based on local situations. “We need to have laws that are not influenced by foreigners,” he said.
The Executive Director of Advocates Coalition for Development and Environment (ACODE), Dr Arthur Bainomugisha, while addressing participants at the gathering said Uganda and Africa in general face the challenge of high youth unemployment.
He also said corruption in government was a major setback to Uganda’s development, urging that it can be reduced to minimal levels.
“Corruption is like prostitution and poverty. They can be reduced to a level that does not destroy society,” Bainomugisha said.
Bainomugisha also criticised the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for what he called unfavourable policies towards Africa.
“The World Bank and IMF have terribly misadvised Africa; whenever we are about to get somewhere, they divert us,” he said.
Dr Bainomugisha also urged African leaders to maintain peace and security as way of encouraging investments. “Money hates noise.” We must silence the guns such that when money makes its way to Africa, it finds peace,” he said.
The youth conference was also addressed by other senior personalities from the private sector and the civil society.