By Tonny Akankwatsa
Celebrating its 100th anniversary, the International Labour Organization (ILO) has painted an icon at Uganda Embassy in New York recognise efforts the government has put to solve youth unemployment.
The painting portrays a young woman with a headscarf in Uganda flag colours clenching her dreams, and turning them into reality.
The image, part of the five painted around New York, specifically honours the Youth Livelihood Programme (YLP) for its unique approach in promoting youth entrepreneurship while contributing to the reduction of youth unemployment.
While in New York to attend the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) in March this year, the Permanent Secretary Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development Mr. Pius Bigirimana was interviewed by ILO officials for an in-depth understanding of YLP and its impact on youth employment.
The information inspired creating an imagery for the mural on the embassy.
Bigirimana expressed the challenges and despair that surrounded the start of YLP as opposed to a world acclaimed Programme it has become today after directly benefiting 241,799 Youth, of which 46% are female.
By far, the Programme which was initiated by Bigirimana following his posting to the Gender Ministry in June 2013, has funded 20,159 youth projects. Up to Shs9,232 billion has been revolved to finance other 1,090 youth projects.
Uganda has one of the highest youth populations in the world as well as youth unemployment levels, which calls for innovative ways of tackling the problem, hence the invaluable of YLP.
All the five murals were commenced on 9th April, 2019 and for one on the Ugandan Mission, the ceremony was presided over by H.E Adonia Ayebare
The Embassy is located in a tower that every Ugandan in this part of the Diaspora takes pride in. It symbolizes The Pearl of Africa. It stands in close proximity to the United Nations Headquarters/ secretariat and therefore is visible to the UN guests.