Empowering Youth: Lord Mayor Lukwago Wants YLP Turned Into Capital Grant

Empowering Youth: Lord Mayor Lukwago Wants YLP Turned Into Capital Grant
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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.

Empowering Youth: Lord Mayor Lukwago Wants YLP Turned Into Capital Grant

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.

Empowering Youth: Lord Mayor Lukwago Wants YLP Turned Into Capital Grant

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.

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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.

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