International Youth Day is observed annually on 12 August as adopted by the United Nations under resolution 54/120 in 1999. It is an opportunity for governments and civil society to draw attention to youth issues worldwide. During International Youth Day, concerts, workshops, cultural events, and meetings involving national and local government officials and Youth Organizations take place around the world to commemorate this important day.
This day is set aside for young people to take center-stage and express their ideas, thoughts, imaginations and innovations as well as bring to light their hopes and aspirations.
Undoubtedly, current global sophistications have made today a very promising and exciting time for young people be alive considering the numerous opportunities that abound for them to tap into, albeit the challenging circumstances and some negative cultural and mass practices that define the young people’s narrative and lived realities.
To commemorate International Youth Day 2019, we – the Youth led and Youth focused organizations including Youth Aid Africa, Faraja Africa Foundation, European Union, Action Aid Uganda, Plan International, Westminster Foundation for Democracy, Restless Development, National Youth Council, International Republican Institute, Global Platforms, Rose Namayanja Foundation and others, to organize activities to commemorate this day.
Aware that the theme for this year is “Transformation Education”, the aforementioned organizations are hosting the second Youth Moot Parliament, the first having been hosted last year. Over 350 Young people from across the country will convene in the parliamentary chambers on the 9thof August 2019 to debate, and make resolutions on critical issues like; unemployment, quality of education, youth meaningful inclusion in governance, EAC regional integration/free trade & movement, among others to be mentioned. The young people will also take into account the national and international commitments Uganda has signed to like; the African Charter on Elections democracy and good governance, Agenda 2063, sustainable development goals, the African Youth policy among other taking into account the Agenda 2030 commitments to which Uganda is signatory and NDP II aspiration From the comprehensive study on the State of the youth, that will be launched on Friday 9thAugust, during the Youth moot sessions and consultations with various sectors of young people who include; youth in informal sector, students, youths leaders, youths in religious sector, youth in business, youth with disabilities, the young people request government and other stakeholders to fast truck the following issues;
We the young people call upon all stakeholders; Government, Development partners, Civil society, Cultural institutions, Parents, Religious leaders as follows;
- Review the Prof. Ssenteza Kajubi Report on Education and invest in improving the quality education at all levels and implement economic policies and programs that contribute to the creation of employment opportunities for all.
- Government should urgently ratify the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance that promotes effective and meaningful participation of young people in planning and budgeting at local government level
This Charter encourages youth participation, building of strong democratic institutions and is cardinal in ensuring that Uganda and Africa are stable, and prosperous.
- Government should urgently look into the issue of Electoral Reforms, with major focus on , nomination fees, the role of the army and police and impartiality of Elections observers
- Government through parliament to urgently amend the National Youth Council (NYC) Act to include effective representation of People with disabilities (PWDs). And appropriate funding to the said National Youth Council to improve their operations across the country.
- Parliament to urgently discuss and legislate on matters relating to sex offences against young people in institutions of higher learning, work places, homes and public places.
- Parliament and Government to urgently look into matters relating to Externalization of labor and the continued exploitation, mistreatment and unfavorable working conditions of young Ugandans abroad and accordingly legislate on the same. In addition, parliament needs to urgently look into issues of decent work and decent pay for young girls and women in domestic homes, hotel industry, and tourism among others. Government to urgently address the economic needs of young people to ensure economic inclusion. Part of the money that was appropriated to Uganda Development Bank for recapitalization should be earmarked as funds for young entrepreneurs with special youth – friendly access procedures for inclusion. Tax holidays should also be given to young entrepreneurs, the same as is given to foreign investors as a way of boosting local investment for better transformation.
We wish to celebrate all the young people doing amazing works around the world. We congratulate the young people of Uganda, Africa and the world upon making it to the International Youth Day celebrations of 2019.
Let’s transform Education for responsible citizenship.