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Open Call for Plenary – 6th National Youth Parliament 2023

Faraja Africa Foundation (FAF) is pleased to announce the call for applications for the 6th National Youth Parliament in Uganda. This unique opportunity aims to create a platform for young people to actively participate in policy-making and decision-making processes. We believe in the power of youth voices and their ability to shape a more inclusive and participatory society that addresses their needs and concerns.

Based on FAF’s experience in creating youth spaces like the annual National Youth Parliament for engagement since 2018, we have observed that most youth in Uganda are passionate about advancing social justice and ethnic equality issues to achieve equity and youth inclusion. Unfortunately, they often face challenges as they are perceived as threats and unqualified by those in authority.

This year, the 6th National Youth Parliament aims to address these challenges by providing a practical, reachable, and all-inclusive forum for youth to constructively engage with the legislature.  By actively involving the Parliament of Uganda, Youth MPs, and the youth themselves, we intend to ensure that youth issues are given the attention and consideration they deserve in the policymaking process.

Eligibility Criteria:

  • Applicants must be between 18 and 35 years of age.
  • Must be Ugandan citizens residing in Uganda.
  • Should demonstrate a strong interest in social justice, ethnic equality, and youth inclusion.
  • Must possess good communication and leadership skills.

Important Dates:

Application Deadline: 21st July 2023

Selection and Notification of Participants: 8th August 2023

Note: Selected participants will be provided with necessary logistical support, including travel and accommodation arrangements during the Youth Parliament.

We look forward to receiving your applications and encourage all passionate and committed young Ugandans to seize this opportunity to be a part of the 6th National Youth Parliament. Together, we can create positive change and ensure that youth voices are heard and valued in the decision-making processes of our nation.

For further inquiries, please contact

Application Process:

  • Interested individuals are invited to should fill in the form below and submit their applications by July 20th 2023.
Youth Sounding Board Uganda

Call for Applications for the Youth Sounding Board in Uganda – YSBU 2023

The European Union (EU) considers engagement with youth and youth participation and inclusion essential for its external action and international partnerships agenda.  The aim is to ensure that the voices of young people are heard and taken into account, including when shaping and implementing EU programmes and policies in partner countries like Uganda.  To advance this agenda, Faraja Africa Foundation, with support from the EU Delegation to Uganda, aims at setting up the Youth Sounding Board Uganda (YSBU) with a membership of twenty Ugandan youth.  Perspectives and needs of young people will be considered during the EU and Member States’ decisions making processes; in their policies, programs, and services that affect them within the programming of the European Union and member states.

Furthermore, the YSBU seeks opportunities for youth networks, organizations, opinion leaders, and more to express their views and connect the EU Delegation and EU Member States in Uganda.  Ugandan youth between 18-30 years are eligible by this call for applications to the YSBU, after which a selection will be made that ensures gender, thematic and geographical balance, among others.

Therefore, Faraja Africa Foundation, with support from the European Union, is excited to announce that we are now accepting applications for our Youth Sounding Board in Uganda.  We are looking for young people between the ages of 18-30 who are passionate about making a positive impact in their communities and eager to have their voices heard on important and topical issues across the sector.  The Youth Sounding Board members will be selected based on their commitment to community service and willingness to work collaboratively with others.

To APPLY, please take note of the following;

  1. Should be a Ugandan (female or male) between 18 – 30 years of age.
  2. Should have a demonstrated interest in the sustainable development of the country and the sustainable development goals
  3.  Should be part of an organization (optional)
  4.  Should have an active social media presence.
  5.  Should distinguish between what is a must from what is an advantage.
  6. Follow Faraja Africa Foundation; Twitter – @EUinUG, @FarajaAfricaFdn | Like Page on Facebook – Faraja Africa Foundation | Follow on Instagram – @farajaafricafdn and on LinkedIn-Faraja Africa Foundation
  • Submit a completed online application form (CLICK TO APPLY)
  • Submit your resume or CV

The deadline for applications is 18th April 2023 at 11 pm.  We will be in touch with selected applicants to schedule an interview.  If you have any questions about the application process or the Youth Sounding Board in general, please don’t hesitate to contact us at +256 (0) 39-488-4176.

We look forward to hearing from you and working together to impact our communities positively!


Women's Day

How Faraja Africa Foundation has to contributed to the theme: DigitALL: Innovation and technology for gender equality

During the International Women’s month, Faraja Africa Foundation is proud to commemorate this special month under the theme “DigitALL: Innovation and technology for gender equality.” At Faraja Africa Foundation, we believe that innovation and technology have the power to break down barriers and promote gender equality for all.”

DigitALL: Technology as a Tool for Gender Equality:

Technology has revolutionized the world we live in, connecting people across the globe and making information more accessible than ever before. At Faraja Africa Foundation, we believe that technology can be a powerful tool in promoting gender equality.

With the rise of digital platforms, we can now connect with people from all corners of the world, share ideas, and collaborate on solutions to complex challenges. By using digital platforms, we can empower women and girls to participate in the global economy and improve their quality of life.

 At Faraja Africa Foundation, we recognize the potential of technology to drive social change and promote gender equality. Through our programs, we are equipping young women with the skills and knowledge they need to harness the power of technology for positive change.


Mentoring Young Women in Policy Advocacy through E-Diplomacy:

Policy advocacy is an essential tool for promoting gender equality. At Faraja Africa Foundation, we believe that policies and laws can have a significant impact on the lives of women and girls, and we are committed to advocating for policies that promote gender equality and empower women.

Through our mentoring programs, we are encouraging e-diplomacy using digital platforms like social media. We are training young women to use social media effectively to advocate for policies that promote gender equality and empower women. We are also connecting them with policymakers and decision-makers to ensure that their voices are heard.

Mentoring and Training Young Women Social Entrepreneurs:

Entrepreneurship is an essential driver of economic growth and social change. At Faraja Africa Foundation, we believe in the power of social entrepreneurship to promote gender equality and drive social change.

Through our mentoring and training programs, we are equipping young women with the skills and knowledge they need to launch and grow successful social enterprises. We are also using digital platforms to advertise and grow their businesses, helping them reach a wider audience and achieve greater impact.

Giving Young Women a Platform to Advocate for Inclusive Policies:

At Faraja Africa Foundation, we believe that young women have a vital role to play in shaping the policies that affect their lives. We are working to give young women a platform to advocate for policies that promote gender equality and social justice.

Through our townhall meetings and youth parliament, we are providing young women with the skills and knowledge they need to engage in policy-making and advocate for their rights. We are using digital platforms to amplify their voices, making sure that their messages reach a wider audience and have a greater impact.

As we celebrate International Women’s Day under the theme “DigitALL: Innovation and technology for gender equality,” we are proud to be working towards a world where women and girls have equal access to resources and opportunities. At Faraja Africa Foundation, we believe that technology and innovation can be powerful tools in driving social change and promoting gender equality.

Through our programs, we are empowering young women to become advocates for gender equality and social justice. We are committed to mentoring and training young women in policy advocacy, social entrepreneurship, and inclusive policy-making, and we look forward to continuing our work towards a more equitable and just society for all.


Written by:

Advocacy Officer


Empowering Uganda’s Future: The Importance of Youth Inclusion in Decision Making Processes in Civil Society

Uganda is a country with a vibrant youth population that has the potential to drive positive change in the society. Unfortunately, young people are often excluded from decision-making processes in civil society. In order to create a more equitable and inclusive society, it is crucial to increase youth involvement in decision making processes.

Creating Youth-Friendly Spaces

Namutebi Ruth presenting a petition about youth unemployment in the National Youth Parliament

Creating safe and welcoming spaces for young people is essential in increasing their participation in civil society. These spaces can be both physical and virtual, providing young people with the opportunity to share their thoughts and ideas. This can be achieved through community centers, youth-led organizations, or online platforms.

Providing Training and Capacity Building

Many young people lack the necessary skills and knowledge to participate in decision-making processes. Providing them with training and capacity building opportunities can help to develop their skills and confidence. This can involve programs that focus on leadership, advocacy, public speaking, and organizational skills.

Engaging with Youth-led Organisations

There are many youth-led organisations in Uganda such as Faraja Africa Foundation that are already working on issues that are important to young people. Engaging with these organizations and supporting their work can help to build a stronger and more inclusive civil society that reflects the needs and priorities of young people.

Fostering Intergenerational Dialogue

Second Deputy Prime Minister in a group photo with the Young leaders who attended the Busoga subregional Youth Parliament

In many cases, there is a disconnect between young people and older generations in civil society. Fostering intergenerational dialogue can help to bridge this gap and ensure that the perspectives and experiences of all generations are taken into account in decision-making processes.

Encouraging Youth Representation in Decision-making Bodies

One of the most effective ways to increase the inclusion of young people in decision-making processes in civil society is to ensure that they are represented in decision-making bodies. This can be done through the creation of youth advisory boards or by ensuring that young people are included in existing decision-making bodies. For-example; The European Union (EU) in Uganda is creating a European Union Youth Sounding Board coordinated by Faraja Africa Foundation in-order for the young people to be part of the decision making processes in the EU. This will be two year project that will entail building the capacity of young people to mobilise resources ,advocacy et al while using these skills while interacting with the EU on behalf  of the young people. (more details to follow..)

Empowering young people and increasing their involvement in decision-making processes in civil society is essential in creating a brighter future for Uganda. By creating youth-friendly spaces, providing training and capacity building, engaging with youth-led organizations, fostering intergenerational dialogue, and encouraging youth representation in decision-making bodies, we can ensure that young people have a voice and a stake in the future of Uganda. Together, we can build a more democratic, equitable, and effective society.

Compiled by Kanyesigye Edna- Advocacy Officer

International Day of Education

The role of Civil Society in improving the education system in Uganda

The education system in Uganda has seen significant growth in recent years. The government has made efforts to increase access to education, particularly for girls and children in rural areas. Additionally, enrolment in primary and secondary education has increased significantly. However, the quality of education remains a challenge, with issues such as teacher shortages and inadequate funding. There have also been efforts to improve the vocational and technical education system to better align it with the needs of the workforce. Overall, while there has been progress, there is still work to be done to ensure that all Ugandans have access to a high-quality education.

Civil society organizations (CSOs) have played an important role in improving the education system in Uganda. CSOs have been involved in various initiatives to increase access to education, improve the quality of education, and promote equity and inclusion. Some examples of the roles that CSOs have played in the education sector in Uganda include:

  • Advocating for policies and practices that support access to education for all, particularly for marginalized groups such as girls and children from rural areas.
  • Providing additional support to schools and communities, such as through teacher training, school improvement programs, and provision of educational materials.
  • Monitoring and evaluating the effectiveness of government policies and programs related to education.
  • Empowering communities to take an active role in the education of their children, by involving parents and other community members in decision-making and planning processes.
  • Providing alternative forms of education, such as non-formal education or vocational training, to reach out-of-school children or those who are not able to access formal education.

Overall, CSOs have played a vital role in complementing the government efforts to improve the education system in Uganda and have made significant contributions towards increasing access to education and the quality of education.

East African Youth Parliament

Members of 5th East African Youth Parliament call on member states to unite urgently to ban single-use plastics within the East African Community

The 5th sitting of the East African Community Youth Parliament (Vijana Assembly) facilitated by Faraja Africa Foundation and the East African Legislative Assembly in partnership with Akina mama wa Afrika and partners brought together over 100 youth parliamentarians from Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, DRC and South Sudan to discuss pressing matters including climate-change, sexual and reproductive health and rights, agriculture, violence and conflict resolution, amongst others.

During the sessions, members echoed the urgent need for a harmonized approach to the issue of single-use plastics in East Africa and brought forward a motion urging member states to adopt legislation to curb the impacts that single-use plastics have on our environment, economy, climate and human health across the region.

 Single-use plastics and climate change 

The plastic industry is responsible for at least 232 million tonnes of planet-warming emissions each year, according to the Beyond Plastics report and their impact doesnt stop there. 

From its production to its end-of-life, plastics pump greenhouse gases at every stage of their life cycle, starting from the fossil fuels extracted underground, to extreme temperatures and excessive amounts of water used to create, transform and mould them.

Once theyre created, they never disappear. They break into small particles – micro-plastics – that have been found everywhere scientists have dared to look: from human breast milk, to the arctic circle and every part of Lake Victoria from the surface level to the lake floor. Besides polluting our environment and choking our biodiversity, plastics release harmful chemicals and greenhouse gases that contribute to the climate emergency.

Waste management, with plastics in particular, has proven to be a huge global challenge considering half of the plastics produced globally are designed to be used only once. According to the UN, we dispose of 300 million tonnes of plastic each year which is almost equivalent to the weight of the entire human population. This post-consumer plastic, or plastic waste almost always ends up in the landfill, ocean, natural environment or are exported to the global south where there is limited to no infrastructure to recycle, manage or safely dispose of this waste. It has been estimated that each year, plastic pollution costs $13 billion in economic damage to marine ecosystems globally.

Studies conducted in Lake Victoria showed that 1 in 5 Nile perch in the lake contain plastics and the highest levels of microplastics in the lake were found on the Ugandan side, which is where the plastic bag ban has not been properly implemented because campaigns to minimize single use plastics like the kaveera ban campaign have been ignored by the general population confirming that regional consensus around plastic legislation between member states is crucial to solving this crisis.

 Propositions from EAC youth parliament: banning single-use plastics;

Maliha Sumar member of the East African Youth Parliament representing Tanzania and climate change activist has been actively advocating to push for member states to adopt legislation to ban the use of single-use plastics in the East African Community

Since 2005, global exports of plastics have more than doubled in value reaching a record of $1.2 trillion and although were more aware of the plastic problem and its dangers, we are not doing nearly enough to tackle this crisis. In fact, plastics are thriving in our global economy. And in some cases, for example, the initiation of the East African Crude Oil Pipeline, we are doing the opposite of what is needed for us to transition into a sustainable, circular economy. It has never been more important to take URGENT action – after all, it is and will be young people who are affected the most. Our shared resources, like Lake Victoria, are dying as a result of pollution and it might be getting too late if we dont take collective action now. 15,000 people have already called for legislative change. My plea to our legislators is: please listen and take action

Maliha Sumar, Tanzanian representative to the EAC Youth Parliament 

Today, over 2/3 of UN member states have conveyed a willingness to think about a new global treaty to address marine plastic pollution, while more than 1/4 of member states have directly called for a treaty.

Our plea is this: the time is now for further affirmative action to be taken by East African policymakers in order to preserve the health of our people, environment, and our economy.

Going beyond: The 5th East African Youth Parliament 2022 speaks up

Plastic pollution is a critical issue, and its links to climate change are well documented. The stark reality of climate change affecting member states in the EAC requires urgent harmonized action. In Tanzania, extreme droughts have resulted in national water and electricity rationing as well as food and water shortages across the region, with some communities having to walk over 15km to fetch water. In Kenya, animals are dying like never seen before and the complete loss of vegetation on pasture lands is leading to extreme desertification forcing indigenous communities away from their homes. We have seen unprecedented rising temperatures across major cities including Nairobi and Dar es Salaam, to flooding, extreme droughts, famine, melting glaciers on Mt Kilimanjaro, and, in spite of being some of the lowest emitters in the world, East African member states are amongst the most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. 

This is why its of high importance that our governments take serious, synchronized and timely action to address climate change in our region with the following propositions from youth members of parliament;

  • Assign an East African Youth Envoy on Climate Change as a focal point for advocacy and implementation of our agenda 
  • Ban imports on all plastic waste coming in from outside the region 
  • Adopt harmonized legislation across the East African region to effectively tackle illegal plastic trade across the border and pollution across our borders through a legislative ban on specific, unnecessary single-use plastic items including straws, bags, microbeads and more
  • Allocate funds within each member states national budget to address damage, adaptation and mitigation efforts
  • Lobby the world’s largest polluters and emitters to reduce their footprint 
  • Transition into renewable sources of energy and a circular economy 
  • Foster a friendly environment through tax exemptions and more for start-ups, industries and innovators who are embracing reusable, biodegradable and compostable plastic substitute
  • These propositions and more have been taken to lawmakers at the East African Legislative Assembly to take forward through a petition presented to the speaker’s office at the East African Legislative Assembly.

Call to Action

Young people of East Africa have come up with ways to make a call to action using advocacy tools such as petitions to make their voices heard about the end of the single use plastics.

Petitions such as #plasticrevolution using reuse innovation, education through activism and advocating for a regional ban on single-use plastics. The petition has reached 15,000 signatures calling on our leaders to take action and ban unnecessary single-use plastics across East Africa.

Sign the petition here:End Single use plastics in East Africa 

We call on our leaders now, to hear our pleas, and unite for change

 Written by Maliha Sumar with assistance from Advocacy office 

Youth Parliament

Call for Applications to the 5th Sitting of the East African Youth Parliament (Vijana Assembly) Arusha Tanzania

It’s that time of the year once again!! As a young woman or man, have you ever seen yourself taking charge in addressing issues of your country at the East African level? Well, the 5th East African Youth Parliament (EAYP), also known as the Vijana Assembly, is here to give you that platform on the 14th – 15th of November 2022. EAYP is an invented regional policy advocacy space that brings cross-sector youth leaders to the East Africa Legislative Assembly (EALA) and the East African Community (EAC) Headquarters annually in Arusha, Tanzania. It amplifies youth voices in high-level key decision-making spaces bridging national boundaries to allow cross-border advocacy, mobilisation and lobbying for young people-centred policies and seeking inclusion in democratic processes, service delivery and coordinated governance mechanisms, among other issues key to all youth across gender and all forms of their diversities.

This year, the Vijana Assembly is under the theme; “Intergenerational solidarity: Creating a World for All Ages and Inclusion with descent livelihood amidst the threat of Climate Change in the post-pandemic era.” Cross-cutting issues integrating the theme discussion are gender inclusivity, diversity, human rights, peace and security. The 5th EAYP seating is expected to have both online and physical young men and women participants. Young people between the ages 18-35 from youth and student council structures, civil society, entrepreneurs, political youth leagues, influencers, opinion leaders and cross-cutting sectors from the East African Region are to participate.

Direct invitations to apply to existing youth structures mentioned above have been made, but here is an opportunity for you to APPLY AS WELL; use the link here Please note it’s limited space; hence, only a few participants will be considered for online and only exceptional ones for physical participation, prioritising the structures and categories above.

Faraja Africa Foundation has organised this year’s sitting in partnership with the East African Legislative Assembly, European Union, Action Aid, Akina Mama Wa Africa, the Parliament of Uganda, East African Civil Society Forum, East African Youth Network, Westminster Foundation for Democracy, Success Hands Tz, Tunaweza, Voice of Youth Tanzania, and other partners. The EAYP is about using the space for advocating for inclusive youth policies and amplifying voices in informing and influencing policy formulation in the East African Community and her partner states. Therefore, all our voices matter; let us use all available avenues on social media and other digital platforms to reach this goal alongside the physical presence.

EAYP Organizing Team




Programme/Project Volunteering Opportunity

About Faraja Africa Foundation
Faraja Africa Foundation is youth-led Non-profit International Organization founded in 2013 with a team of youth entrepreneurs and leaders enthusiastic about changing Africa, while strategically placing itself in government structures in empowering youth for development.

Our mission is to prepare emerging leaders to initiate, develop and sustain youth community and economic initiatives; while our vision is, producing informed economically empowered and socially engaged youth-led society with 21st-century skills dedicated to building the African continent.

Faraja (Swahili word for comfort) Africa Foundation empowers and provides young people with the needed skills to succeed. Currently, our focus is on youth leaders in areas of social entrepreneurship, leadership & civic engagement with the strong use of technology and digital tools. Providing ongoing training and coaching for youth (as future leaders) in both civic engagement and entrepreneurship, in achieving sustainable development, and their needs across Africa.

Do you desire to add unmeasurable value to lives of youths?
We’re seeking volunteers who can use their experiences ad skills to add unparalleled value to the sustainable development of today’s youths who will be advocating the future of Uganda (and Africa).

Working in the relaxed office of Faraja (and sometimes in the field), as a volunteer you will find yourself working with a small group of participants or providing one-to-one upskilling to vibrant youths across the landscape of Uganda.

You will support the Programmes team to manage relationships and activities with overseas partner NGOs. Hence, lead on the delivery of the research and development elements of excellent development programmes
You will be part of the team overseeing program development, seeking grants and proposals, and managing youth projects.

You will partake in building and maintaining partnerships and relationships that interacts with other organizations, such as other NGOs, community organizers, and international donors/stakeholders.

You will usually be proactive, creative, outspoken, and optimistic with a preference for achieving outcomes in collaboration with others. You will have a result-oriented approach and propose ways to innovate and continuously improve our communications products, practices, channels and messaging.

Responsibilities and Duties (Skills):
You will usually be expected to engage in the below responsibilities as at when needed.
1. Support programme evaluation, research , and daily management of programmes
2. Support the implementation of the programmes’ policies, and processes
3. Contribute to the development and improvement of systems for managing the evaluation data and sharing of learning between partners
4. Support collection & dissemination of project information, including analysis of existing data
5. Support the standardising of reporting and information processes across all programmes
Contribute to the development, implementation and continuous improvement of excellent monitoring, reporting and evaluation processes.
6. Possess creative problem-solving, effective communication, & stakeholder engagement skills
7. Possess effective interaction with all levels of the organization, and senior management.
8. Possess exceptional ability to remain calm, in control and good humoured even under pressure and tight deadlines.
9. Possess some standard of computer competency and literacy and experience of using Microsoft Office packages.
10. Preferably, be educated to Bachelor’s Degree level in social sciences, legal studies, other related/relevant disciplines, or a measurable level of experience in same/similar field.

To Apply:
Please send your CV and covering letter outlining your suitability for the volunteering position to on or before the deadline stipulated above.
If you have any queries, please contact Uche on


Ugandan Athletes: Underrated yet Profitable

The year was 2005, when 23-year-old Dorcus Inzikuru, the “Arua Gazelle” won a gold medal at the inaugural women’s 3,000 metres steeplechase event at the World Championships in Helsinki, Finland. Uganda had waited for over 33 years to get a gold medal from a competing athlete at the international level and such a huge milestone was worth celebrating. Praises and prizes were showered unto the smiling Inzikuru who inspired other young women athletes that they can also make it in the sports industry.

Inzikuru became an instant sports celebrity in Uganda and even the President gifted her with a house in Arua which she has been living in since 2007. It was all sunshine and rainbows for the long-distance runner until when she started receiving threats that the land on which her house stands is not hers and she needs to secure a land title which she has been chasing from the Ministry of Education and Sports, the Parliament and the Ministry of Lands and Urban Development until now and she’s still not yet successful. Even in her retirement, Inzikuru last got her monthly stipend of Ugx 5 million in 2017 which she had been promised to be getting every month each year.

Inzikuru’s story is a perfect example of how the government urges athletes to work hard but doesn’t fully appreciate and compensate them for all the hard work they invest in training and even after retiring from sports. Uganda has always shown peaks of sporting excellence and as staunch patriots, we have always shown love and support to our national teams that have competed on the international level and as Ugandans, we are very proud. Most of the athletes that represent Uganda are young people who are energetic and have a passion for what they do and they invest countless hours in training trying to make sure that they don’t disappoint their country.

However, the challenge comes in with the tokens of appreciation that these athletes are supposed to receive from the government which can be pending until when they’re forgotten. The next thing you hear is news headlines of sports personalities crying out to the government to build them a house or pay for medical bills and yet as citizens, we think these people are well-off which is not the case.

In the 2022/23 Uganda national budget, Ugx 47.81 billion was allocated to the sports industry meant to fund sports activities such as supporting national teams for international events like the Olympics, commonwealth games, continental championships and the East African community games. Despite all this sum of money invested in sports, you won’t be shocked to find out that sports teams still have inadequate funding, ramshackled training facilities, and poor administrative systems.

You ask yourself where all the money goes, seeing no signs of improvement in the sports sector but the major sports stakeholders will always claim that they’re supporting the sports industry and seeing a bright future of stars. The future is now and yet sports personalities are still earning peanuts as compared to how much time and effort they dedicate to representing their country.

The sports industry just like any other industry in Uganda is a profitable industry which sports personalities can earn an enormous amount of money from and also provide commercial investment opportunities for Uganda. With the right exposure as a result of better administrative systems, major sports personalities can even become brand ambassadors of various brands that support sports not only in Uganda but in other countries as well.

The major sports stakeholders should set policies in place that can lead to the self-sustainability of athletes even when they retire from sports. For instance, the one-off tokens of appreciation may not be sufficient enough but rather setting up high-performance athlete centres can be a great source of employment for retired athletes who can train and educate upcoming athletes while being paid handsomely for it.

It’s high time that sports personalities are recognized in Uganda because they are in a multi-billion industry known all over the world and the government can make it possible for them to reap fruits from it.

Youth Parliament

Unemployment: The Contagious Disease Among the Youth

Faraja Africa Foundation conducted this year’s first regional Youth Parliament in Masaka district on June 20, 2022, at Muteesa 1 Royal University. The attendance of youth leaders in this region showed eagerness to fully participate in the motions that were to be debated on. All the regional Youth Parliaments were funded by the European Union and Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH under the German government.

The Youth Parliament couldn’t proceed without first electing a speaker. The nominees were Zahara Nalubyayi and Festo Kato. After a tight election process, Zahara emerged as the winner with a total of 35 votes defeating Festo Kato who garnered only 14 votes. With the Speaker elected, the house dived straight into its first motion which was “Urging the government to facilitate skills development for young people in order to solve the problem of unemployment.”

The motion caused a heated debate in the house because one of the major issues facing the youth in Uganda today is nothing other than unemployment. As stated by Festo Kato, “Over 40% to 60% of the youth in Uganda are unemployed.” Our education system focuses more on theoretical knowledge and when the youth finally graduate from university, they don’t have the confidence to apply the knowledge they acquired in school. That’s something that the government can look into so that young people can gain more practical skills while in school and be able to apply those skills in the workplace.

Some of the participants who gave in their submissions during the debate claimed that it’s not the government’s problem for the youth to be unemployed. They argued against the motion saying that it’s the youth’s sole responsibility to be job creators rather than job seekers. The youth shouldn’t wait for the government to give them jobs but should instead be proactive enough to use their creativity, talents, and skills to come up with business ideas that can enrich them.

However, other young people in the house supported the motion by saying that government should give them jobs because they pay taxes and the government should use that money to create jobs for them. They went further by saying that due to the current high costs of commodities in the country, the taxes to be paid have increased and yet most of them are still unemployed.

The big question from the youth to the government was, “Where does our money go?” Of course, some of the youth were complaining about how government officials simply use the citizens’ money to enrich themselves. A recent example that was given was the Ugx 40m that was given to Members of Parliament in an economy where the average Ugandan is crying of high commodity prices.

The debate showed how brilliant these young people are and also speaking matters from the heart. We believe that majority of the youth being unemployed in Uganda is part of the government’s responsibility because young people are the leaders of today and tomorrow and if they’re not provided with the necessary skills that can put them in positions of power and curb unemployment, then where is the Pearl of Africa heading to?