The huge reservoir of the unemployed youth is a big opportunity for Uganda- Museveni

Yesterday the Head of State, President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni delivered the State of the Nation Address to Parliament and the general public at Serena Conference Centre, Kampala.

The State of the Nation address marks the beginning of the new session of Parliament and  is delivered in the fulfillment of the Constitutional requirement under article 101 (1) of the Constitution of the Republic Uganda which states that “The President shall, at the beginning of each session of Parliament, deliver to Parliament an address on the state of the nation.

In his address the President noted that huge numbers of the young people in the country is a very big opportunity for the nation and must therefore be harnessed. Museveni said that the youth, who make up a big part of the population, and are idle due to lack of jobs, can be turned around with “a little bit of training, equipment and operational capital.”  He however, discouraged the youth especially those in urban areas to venture into agriculture. “This massive number of young people is a huge force for production. They should go into industry and services. Do not send them to the villages into agriculture,” he said. Citing that even America where many people want to go has only 2% of its population in Agriculture.

He acknowledged that the huge reservoir of the unemployed and property-less youth was a huge opportunity which should be transformed into wealth and job creators. “They are the ones to save us from imports and also generate exports using our huge natural resources and our comparative advantages. “ he said.

The President said that youth in Kalerwe, along Gayaza Road, had complained to him of being arrested for being “idle and disorderly.”
Arresting them for being idle and disorderly must stop. These youth are idle because they have no jobs,” he said.

The President also mentioned some of the interventions that have been put in place to empower the young people especially the girls in Kampala. “Through my State House Comptroller, I am now supporting 711 young girls to do baking, embroidery, textile weaving, shoe making, knitting, e.t.c .” he said.  “Every intake of six months costs Sh486m, including giving them lunch and daily transport of sh 2000 per person. “ he added. The President noted that this intervention will be decentralized to all the divisions of Kampala so that the beneficiaries don’t need to travel long distances.

The President pledged to support the youth who are into production by setting up for them manufacturing sheds at Abayita Ababiri and show rooms for their products in Kampala.

Uganda has one of the youngest populations in the world and therefore measures must be put in place so as to turn this huge force into productive work in order to develop the economy and spur growth in the country.


Poverty is a complex reality, but it is not inevitable. It is universal issue impacting all countries from the South to the North causing misery, especially to women and girls. While further weakening those who are already affected, factors, such as conflicts, climate change, economic and financial crises, create new poor people in every society.

The International Day for the Eradication of Poverty is celebrated every year on the 17th of October. Its objective is to draw attention to the importance of poverty eradication for building sustainable futures for all.

People living in poverty face increasingly difficult challenges as climate change, environmental degradation and rising food prices threaten their livelihoods and survival chance. The path to sustainable development must ensure that people living in poverty are included in decision-making processes and that concrete action is taken to respond to their needs and demands. Through resolution adopted on the 22nd of December 1992, the General Assembly invited all States to devote this day to presenting and promoting concrete activities with regard to the eradication of poverty and destitution.

This year theme is “Moving from Humiliation and Exclusion to Participation: Ending Poverty in All Its Forms”. This selected theme in consultation with activists, civil society and non-governmental organisations highlights how it is important to recognise and address the humiliation and exclusion endured by many people living in poverty.

The United Nations Sustainable Development Goal to “end poverty in all its forms everywhere” explicitly recognises that poverty results not only from the lack of just one aspect, but also from many different interrelated aspects that affect the lives of people living in paucity. This means we must go beyond seeing poverty merely as the lack of income or what is necessary for material well-being such as food, housing, land, and other assets – in order to fully understand poverty in its multiple dimensions.

We, at CFYDDI, believe that building a sustainable future requires us to intensify our efforts towards eradicating extreme poverty and discrimination as well as ensuring that everyone can fully exercise their human rights. The full participation of people living in poverty, particularly in the decisions that affect their lives and communities, must be at the centre of policies and strategies to build a sustainable future. In this way, we can guarantee that our planet and our societies can fulfil the needs and aspirations of everyone, without leaving anyone behind, especially those of youth and future generations.

Therefore, let us work together to achieve the total eradication of poverty in all its forms throughout the world.

Happy International Day for the Eradication of Poverty!

Ambassador Deborah R. Malac Kicks off Uganda’s 6th annual National Youth Festival 2016

sam_9895Enoch while learning from what other fellow young people are doing. and below here is the full speech by the USA Ambassador to Uganda Deborah R. Malac.

Good afternoon everyone! I am absolutely delighted to be with you today to help kick off Uganda’s 6th annual National Youth Festival. It’s always exciting for me to take part in events like these and see first-hand the talents, ambitions, and innovations of Uganda’s youth. Your participation in this weekend’s activities demonstrate how young people can and should play a positive role in helping develop Uganda – as leaders, innovators, educators, and citizens who care deeply about the future of their country.


I’d like to begin by commending the Open Space Center and its partners for organizing today’s event. Your leadership has helped bring hundreds of Ugandan youth leaders together to debate – and hopefully help solve – the many issues they and Ugandans everywhere face. The U.S. Embassy is proud to be your partner in these activities again this year. And we look forward to seeing this event grow and expand beyond Kampala in the coming years so even more young leaders can join in the conversation.

I want to make something clear for everyone right now, and it’s a message I really want you to believe, not just because it’s true, but because it sits at the core of everything the United States does here in Uganda: We fully support the youth of Uganda. We believe in your potential, your creativity, your energy. The United States has and will continue to stand with you, and we will work with you as closely as possible, to help you build the kind of country you want to see.

President Obama said it perfectly earlier this month at the Young African Leaders Initiative Summit in Washington, when he observed that despite Africa’s many challenges, he saw a continent on the move. Like the President, I believe Africa is a place of unprecedented prosperity and opportunity. That vision exists thanks in large part to the potential of young Africans across the continent; it depends on Ugandans just like each and every one of you.

Certainly, there are many challenges to that vision here in Uganda. Unemployment, particularly among young people, remains stubbornly high. Corruption continues to undermine service delivery and erode confidence in government. Quality health care and education remain out of reach for thousands of people, especially for youth and women. Add to this the fact that Uganda has a large and growing youth population – among the largest and youngest in the world, a tsunami more than a tidal wave that will put further strain on the government to meet the needs of its citizens.
It can be difficult in the face of these figures to see how Uganda could reach the potential President Obama envisioned. But I have to tell you, the United States has not lost hope in the future of Uganda, and neither should you. Uganda is filled with unlimited potential, and I am certain its youth can and will achieve great things in the years ahead. And that’s why the United States is here, helping Ugandans across the country realize their dreams and potential.

Let me give you a few examples of just what this support looks like. Our Feed the Future Youth Leadership for Agriculture program is trying to leverage Uganda’s enormous potential in agriculture. In four districts, we are working with youth to demonstrate that a career in farming is both rewarding and prosperous – and doesn’t just mean spending time working in the field. Young people can develop careers in finance, marketing, logistics, and many other areas that support agricultural production – and help add value to products, develop the economy, and create jobs for thousands more young Ugandans.
The U.S. African Development Foundation has awarded young Ugandan entrepreneurs grants worth $300,000 to help them pursue initiatives in renewable energy. This investment will help drive private investment in energy alternatives in Uganda. At the same time, these companies can create renewable power sources that will help Uganda’s sustainable development.

In health, we are making significant investments in the lives of all Ugandans, particularly in efforts to eliminate the continuing problem of HIV, and its rising prevalence among younger Ugandans. In the past year, we have launched the DREAMS program – a $31 million initiative to reduce HIV infections among adolescent girls and young women. And we continue to provide assistance for counseling services, testing, and access to live-saving medicines that are keeping Ugandans healthier and living longer, productive lives.

The United States is also helping give voice to young Ugandans in politics and civil society. Our projects are building youth leadership skills, and encouraging the country’s political parties to focus on the particular needs of young people. And we cannot forget our signature program, launched here in Uganda at this very same festival three years ago – the Young African Leaders Initiative, or YALI – that has sent nearly 70 young leaders to the United States for intensive training in civic leadership, business and entrepreneurship, and public management.

Uganda’s participants in the YALI program have been so impressive, in fact, that they’ve earned worldwide recognition. I hope you saw earlier this month Uganda’s own Emmanuel Odama – a research scientist with the National Agriculture Research Organization in Arua – introduce President Obama at the YALI Summit. We’re so proud of Emmanuel, not just because of the honor he had to meet the President, but because he represented to the world just how talented and dedicated the youth of Uganda are.

It’s young leaders like Emmanuel – and you – who inspire us to remain engaged in Uganda. Our assistance here, and the ties that we have built together over the years, will continue, no matter what happens in our own elections later this year. That’s because all Americans believe in the importance of building strong partnerships with the people of Africa, and the youth of Uganda. It’s a relationship that we want to see continue and flourish.

But I must confess that I have a secret to share. The jobs, the prosperity, and the opportunities that you seek – none of them are going to appear magically before you. No one – not your government, the United States, or anyone else – are just going to hand them to you. You will have to work for them. You will have to make them and take them yourself, and that’s hard work for anyone. The changes you want to see in Uganda can only come about through your own dedication and commitment.

To prove my point, you only need to look as far as today’s special musical guest, Bobi Wine. You all know his story: the famous Ugandan artist who grew up in the ghettos of Kampala, a life seemingly limited by poverty. But as Bobi himself would tell you, no one gave him his fame or fortune. None of his success happened overnight. He had to work long and hard for it, fighting past countless setbacks and disappointments. And today, you know Bobi as a true Ugandan success story, a man giving back to his own community by teaching youth to develop the skills they need to not just to survive, but thrive.

Now, of course, not many of you are going to be the next Bobi Wine. But that doesn’t mean there are thousands of other opportunities for success available to you. And you should know that you don’t have to go about finding them alone, because you have allies you probably didn’t realize you had.

There are hundreds of young people here today. Look around; you will see leaders, innovators, idea-makers of all kinds. These are not your classmates and peers, they are you allies and partners. They are not your rivals for attention and resources, they are your confidants and collaborators. Young Ugandans, working together and taking an active role in the governance and development of their country, can achieve things once considered impossible.

There’s absolutely no reason you cannot do the same if you work together, help one another, and mentor those behind you. Each one of you is smart, strong, and talented. I know because I’ve seen this already. And together, you will truly be unstoppable and achieve great things.

You should know that you will always have a partner and friend in the United States. I could not be prouder of all of you and the great work that you’ve accomplished already. Your participation in today’s activities shows that you are thinking about your future and the future of Uganda. You cannot and should not lose the hope and ambition that brought you here today.

To transform Uganda into the country that you want it to be, you will need help, and the United States will be there to provide assistance where and where we can. But to become truly prosperous, healthy, and stable, Uganda needs the hard work of each and every one of you. And it needs leaders who are dedicated to providing the resources for quality education, adequate health care, transparent and effective government, and sustainable economic growth and jobs.

This is indeed a significant challenge. But I encourage you to take all that energy, drive, and ambition that comes with being young, and channel it into action – action that brings together the millions of young Ugandans into a coordinated effort. As the theme of today’s event rightly states, your moment to unlock the potential of Uganda is now. Don’t wait for it, don’t waste it, and don’t let it disappear.

I hope you will act and take advantage of everything this festival has to offer. You have before you a wealth of knowledge, information, ideas, and opportunities – but most importantly, each other – to help you create the Uganda you want and deserve.

Thank you, and best wishes to you all!


Youth to government: Revisit our needs, fight teenage pregnancy

Minister recieves Pettion from young peopleHon: Sarah Opendi State Minister for Health recieves the pettion from youth on the Prime Minister’s behalf

CFYDDI school community youth led by Dorcus Nabanja a residence of Ndazabazadde village and a member of the SHARE club read the petition on behalf of the young people in Uganda and later joined by colleagues from various school SHARE clubs, and handed over  and received by Hon: Sarah Opendi on the Prime Minister’s behalf, was a call to government to initiate a joint fight by key government ministries against teenage pregnancies.

“The country loses about $1m to adolescent pregnancies. We would also be gaining about $15m as a country if all the teenage girls stayed in school and delayed pregnancy until about 20 years

With 78% of the country’s population under the age of 30 and 55% of that below 18, teenage pregnancies pose a major threat to Uganda’s development.

This was put across by Rt. Hon. Ruhakana Rugunda, the Prime Minister in a speech read by Sarah Opendi the State Minister for Health (General Duties) at a National Youth Dialogue organised by the White Ribbon Alliance at the Imperial Royale on Tuesday.

“Teenage pregnancies make young girls drop out of school. This may mean an end to their journey to development and economic independence for the girls and their children,” the Prime Minister noted.


Hon Sarah Opendi, State Minister for Health during a press conference. she attributed the high number of teenage pregnancies to the high addiction to alcohol and what she termed as “bad dressing” rallied all youth to focus and abstain from sex as much as possible and make use of contraceptives, which she described as a secondary option.

“You should use the contraceptives when you must,” she said.


CFYDDI delegation remind you all to Act Now and end teenage pregnancy!


CFYDDI Share club member Dorcus while reading the petition on behalf of all Ugandan Youth. we congratulate all the young people, Ugandans who appended their signatures, the white ribbon alliance Uganda chapter and African youth and adolescents network (AfriYAN) Uganda chapter for such a historical collaboration.

compiled by CFYDDI communications team.

CFYDDI Strengthens Its Relationship with Buvuma Island District

In a continued effort towards health awareness, CFYDDI recently completed the final of a series of dental health awareness outreach campaigns on Buvuma Island. The community outreach provided dental health sensitisation to several of the camps (densely populated communities of internally displaced persons) on the island. The aim of the outreach is to teach children proper dental hygiene methods: including how to brush, when to brush, and most of all, the importance of healthy teeth. After a playful and engaging demonstration, toothpaste and toothbrushes were distributed amongst local children. A big thanks goes out to Monah University’s TeamMed who donated the resources during the team’s visit last January.


In an attempt to assess the needs of the community, CFYDDI also met with a number of local stakeholders in order to create suitable and effective programs in support of the local community. Challenges including sanitation, health, education, and economic development, to name a few, were discussed. The hospitality of the people of Buvuma was heart-warming; we very much look forward to partnering with them in our work for empowered and community-led development. CFYDDI would like to thank all those who continue to support the centre in serving some of Uganda’s most vulnerable communities.



CFYDDI Projects Big Ideas through Donation by the ITS Department at King’s University College

CFYDDI would like to send a BIG thank you to the Information Technology Services (ITS) Department at King’s University College at Western University, Canada. The department has generously donated a power point projector to the Centre.

Courtney, Canadian intern at CFYDDI, was previously employed by King’s ITS, and was able to make this connection between CFYDDI and King’s ITS. Dr. Allyson Larkin, Professor at King’s University College, carried the projector from Canada through Tanzania and all the way to CFYDDI’s doors in Uganda. We can’t thank everyone enough for these services rendered! This exciting new addition to our Centre will be used widely! Our extensive collection of DVDs and documentaries can now be viewed publicly, as we intend on hosting documentary nights, as well as screenings of important events and news. It will also be an incredible tool for us when we host conferences and camps at CFYDDI. The projector will be a focal point for community members to congregate and learn at the Centre; we can’t wait to see where it will take us!

Building her Business: CFYDDI Supports Local Businesswoman

CFYDDI has been thrilled to continually be working with Women with a Purpose (WWAP), a group of talented, dedicated, and motivated women of the village, Ndazabazadde. Six women in particular have stuck with us from the beginning – and as we encourage their growth, they do the same for us! With these women, we have a micro-confectionary project based out of one of the participant’s homes. Through this project, we supply local merchants with crisps and baggies of other snacking items. Through our Build Your Business Project, we have also given these women entrepreneurial training to help them succeed in their business endeavours.

One woman in particular, Musimenta Allen, better known as Mama Kasana, has taken her acquired knowledge, skills, and support to begin her own, independent business. At a stand outside of her house, you will find Mama Kasana selling samosas, chapattis, boiled eggs, avocados, and a variety of vegetables to her fellow villagers.


“I saw that I couldn’t always wait for my husband for everything, so I used my savings from WWAP to start a small and flexible business – this allows me to complete my responsibilities at home while still being able to operate the shop. I invested in myself by investing in a business.”

She shared that CFYDDI has been an essential element to beginning her business, emphasizing that her participation in CFYDDI’s projects have taught her to be creative, the purposes of saving schemes, customer service skills, and financial literacy. More importantly, with CFYDDI’s encouragement, she has grown in confidence, sharing that “It taught me that I have potential and innovation within myself.”

Mama Kasana has big dreams for her the future of her business: “I would like to open a wholesales shop with soap, sugar, and salt for the people of this village. This village only has retail shops, not wholesale, so I see a need for it here.” CFYDDI looks forward to seeing what Mama Kasana will achieve, and supporting her every step of that journey.