President Yoweri Museveni has urged leaders at all levels in the country to explain to the youth government programmes aimed at lifting them out of unemployment and poverty.
“Leaders have not properly explained to the youth the various government programmes and policies that empower them to make the right choices. I advise all leaders to look into the budget and make accountability on how the money is spent on the youth and explain to them so that they can gauge.” he said.
According to Sarah Kagingo, President Museveni’s Special Assistant for Communications, the President made this call on Tuesday while closing a three day youth retreat for Kiboga youth held at Kagobe Primary School in Kapeeke sub-county in Kiboga district.
President Museveni cited investments in education that scoops 1,700 billion shillings from the total budget, security and health which he said all have components that empower youth at different stages. He called on leaders to explain to the youth all those programs where the youth can benefit like the Youth Livelihood Program, Micro Finance, NAADS among others that they can exploit in order to start income generating activities.
Responding to a youth councilor who said the Shs 200 million that Kiboga district got under the livelihood programme was too little, the President assured them that that was only the beginning and that government will annually increase the funds to enable all the youth benefit. He however cautioned them against putting money first instead of acquiring skills.
“When we went to the bush, we were only 27, didn’t we defeat Obote,” the President said emphasizing that even in the bible, Jesus started with 72 people, got 12 disciples including Judas the traitor and Peter who denied him but that today, there are many followers.
The President urged the youth to exploit opportunities in sectors like agriculture, Industries, services, ICT and public service to make an income depending on their skills.
Mr. Museveni however noted that in Kiboga district most families have little land holdings and therefore advised them to use modern methods of agriculture that includes calculated intensive farming.
He said the government had already advised on a plan for a 4 acre piece of land that involves selecting enterprises that can fetch income that is equal or more than the annual expenditure of a household.
He said one acre can be used for coffee, fruits, banana’s for food security and elephant grass for zero grazing. He added that at the back yard one can have poultry for eggs, piggery for non-Muslims goats, apiary and those who are near swamps can open up fish ponds.
The President further appealed to the youth to keep diseases at bay by observing hygiene, nutrition, avoiding reckless life-styles like smoking, alcohol and premarital sex that can lead them to contracting HIV/AIDS.
To the people of Kiboga district President Museveni pledged to provide them with a maize mill, poultry feeds factory and milk coolers and provide the district with more road equipment. On the rehabilitation of Kiboga hospital where government has provided over 700million, the President said while it is good to have good infrastructure, it was important to avoid falling sick.
“Your people say they want to qualify to go to hospital, my line is avoid diseases by immunization, proper hygiene, using bed nets to fight malaria, behavior change and proper nutrition,” he said.
The President later gave out certificates to the youth leaders, launched the Kiboga Youth Integrated Development Association and donated 30 million shillings.