Kampala Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago today engaged with 75 Youth groups from across the five Divisions of the City, in a physical verification exercise of beneficiary groups of the Youth Livelihood Program (YLP) at the Lord Mayor’s Parlor.
The Lord Mayor noted that following the new regulatory requirement from Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development, for him to sign off files of each beneficiary group, it’s only prudent that he have a physical verification/interaction with the groups.
He observed that the recovery rate of the three (3) year revolving fund is very low, with only Shs.1B recovered of the Shs.14.4B disbursed to 458 beneficiary youth groups in FY 2013/14, adding that there is need to review the Program with the aim of turning it in to a seed capital grant for the youth.
The Deputy Lord Mayor Doreen Nyanjura also the Gender docket in-charge at KCCA, called on the beneficiary Youth Groups to ensure they maintain the Gender requirement in their operations as stipulated in the guidelines.
The 75 Youth groups are set to benefit from a disbursement of Shs.630M.
Present at the engagement were members of City Executive Committee and technical officers from KCCA Directorate of Gender Community Services and Production.
The YLP is a Government Programme being implemented under the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development since FY2013-2014. It was designed to respond to the existing challenge of unemployment among the Youths.
Government has injected about billions into the program. In FY2013/14, the program was allocated Ugx 2.1bn, FY2014/15 Ugx 33.32bn, FY2015/16 Ugx 33bn. In FY2016/17, the program has received a vote allocation of Ugx 75bn.
In FY2015/16, the Ministry reported in its Ministerial Policy Statement that by the end of December 2014 a total of 2,788 projects worth Ugx19.63bn had been processed and 6,181 projects worth Ugx 43.62bn, by the end of December 2015. However, the unemployment status quo remains unshaken.
Recently, the Ministry produced a report: “Status of Problematic Youth Projects”. Highlighting a number of youth ventures where a lot of money has been misused. The media has been awash with stories of fraud of the fund.
This is not the first time government is coming up with such projects. Only that this particular one is specific for the youth.
There was Agricultural Sector Modernization Plan 1998-2001; Entadikwa Scheme; and Bonabagagawale (Prosperity for All). All these aimed at intensifying agricultural production to increase household income and improving food security. However, little was achieved in terms of success stories.
Experts argue that the challenge with the Fund was the lack of proper feasibility study on the viable projects where to invest money..
In light of all this, it would have been proper for both Parliament and Government to first interest themselves in the question as to why those earlier projects collapsed with little marginal results despite sinking in a lot of money. This is because there is no big difference between this program with previous ones.
Without proper monitoring and accountability mechanisms, the project is most likely to take the same route just like the earlier ones.
Uganda has one of the highest youth populations in the world, with more than three-quarters of the population below 30 years, and a large proportion of these youth struggle to find jobs.
According to a report by UNPF, 34.8% of Uganda’s 34.6 million population are adolescents with a similar sex distribution. 0.9% young males aged 10-24 are heading households, 38.5% of young people aged 10-19 live in the two poorest wealth quintiles, 19.6% of young people aged 10-19 live in households where the head of household has no education, and 8.8 million young people aged 15-24 are not engaged in education, employment or under any training.