Over 280 young people from over 50 districts in #Uganda gathered at the Imperia
Royal Hotel on Thursday 18th sept 2014 to discuss issues that relate to the global development agenda, commonly referred to as the #Post2015 Development Agenda.
Young people were divided into ten groups and each group given a single thematic area to discus and identify key concerns in that area, suggest solutions and propose 3 top key recommendations that the implementation frame work of the #Post2015 Development Agenda and the National Development plan should forces on.
The ten thematic areas discussed include; democracy governance and accountability, health, education, gender and women empowerment, peace security conflict and resolution, agriculture nutrition and food security, ICT, child protection and environment and climate change.
The dialogue was officiated over by Mr. Onduri Fred the commissioner for youth and children affaires at the minister of gender labour and social who represented the minister of gender Hon. Karoro Okrutu.
Young people highlighted the need for inclusiveness meaningful involvement of young people in planning and implementation of various programs that affect their welbeing.
To realize meaningful development that is much more sustainable and people centered, the needs of young people must be at the forefront of development in the post 2015 development arena. Said Mwesigye Patrick G Reacher the team leader of the organizing team that arranged for the dialogue.
Young people eluded the need for increased investment in polices and programs that increase access to employment and entrepreneurship opportunities, quality education that is more practical and regionally balanced in regard to infrastructure and teacher ratio, access quality and improved health care services that are youth friendly and provided at all public health facilities, without forgetting access to age appropriate and and correct sexuality education
Issues of civil engagement democracy, governance and accountability also toppled the agenda. And young people called for and Afrocentric democratic system and support of political parties. Young people also called for establishment of a National Youth Leadership academy to train and mentor young people into leaders.
Young people called for punitive laws for offenders of women and children’s rights and eluded to the fact that community sensitization and awareness is key in empowering communities with knowledge on issues of women empowerment, girl child education as well as gender equity and equality. Men too must be involved including religious leaders, cultural leaders and the media in identifying and discouraging all forms of gender violence and discrimination, said Jacqueline Alesia the facilitator for the break out session on gender.
The development agenda should ensure that communities are empowered to mitigate and adopted to the effects of climate change and venture into clean energy alternative as a means of protecting and saving the environment. This was according to the group discussing climate change. They called on government to educate young people about the carbon green fund and interest young people to look at environment and climate change as a source of employment through providing alternative so environmental protection and sustainable development.
On issues of agriculture nutrition and foot security, young people notated that agriculture being the backbone of Africa’s Economies, there is need for governments to increase investment in agricultural research and development. Agriculture should top the list of priorities with attention being given to commercial large scale agricultur. issues of mechanization, use of fertilizers, use of pest sides, irrigation, value addition should be taken note of and given priority said Yvette from the East and Southern Africa Small Scale Famers Forum.
Young people also want government to establish regional youth farmer forums and facilitate them to access agriculture loans and access agricultural subsides from. NAADS.
Issues of peace security and conflict resolution were extensively discussed and young people notated that unemployment and redundancy is one of the causes of conflict and insecurity hence called for immediate investment in job creation and entrepreneurship opportunities for young people. Peace, security and conflict resolution must be included in the next development agenda as the world yearn for peace said Linda Asaba from the United Nations Association of Uganda.
Young people called on governments to invest more in research and development for ICT and build, more ICT infrastructure as well as introduce ICT in the education curriculum right from primary school.
Issues of child protection also came out loudly as young people notated that parents have neglected their parenting role and hence bad people are taking advantage. Young people called or massive sensitization of communities on issues of child protection, heavy punishment for offenders of children’s rights and rehabilitation center for children who are survivors of gender based and sexual violence. The group discussing child protection also notated out the poor learning environment that exposes children to risk and hence called for things like improving sanitation and hygiene at schools, providing meals to children while at school and improving school infrastructure I.e toilets, classroom, desks, scholastic materials among others. They also called for establishing for children Heath care units.
The report will be uploaded online very soon and the Uganda Youth Position on the Post 2015 Development Agenda is currently being finalized and shall be circulated on various social media spaces for your view and attention.
Otherwise to me it was big pleasure being the team leader for the group that ensured the success of this youth dialogue. Big up also to the team that I worked with including; Wanzala E. Martin, Kisirisa Muhammed Banura Amanda, Alex Kiwanuka Craig, Yakobo, Matha, Ruth Aine, Fracis Francis Maberi, Sharifah Nabambejja James Kintu’s, prudence, Jackson, Christine among other.