YOUTH across the country have until December 31, to register for the "Inspire Africa" mentoring and awards programme. Nelson Tugume, the organiser of the Youth in Innovation and Entrepreneurship TV Reality Show National Competition said yesterday that they have extended the deadline to enable more regional youth take part in the programme.
"We hope to have a critical mass and this should help the drive," said Tugume.
The project was launched in November. The competition has been organised through a private-public partnership with the Ministry of Finance Planning and Economic Development through the Competitiveness and Investment Strategy Secretariat and Inspire Africa.
So far about 400 youth have registered for the event that is one of the many initiatives quietly building up a strong foundation for entrepreneurship in a country full of opportunity and resources but yet to be fully harnessed.
Uganda has the youngest population in the world with 78% of the population below the age of 30 while 52% under 18 years.
On the other hand, young Ugandans between 18 and 30 years constitute only 21.3% of the population. This population size is not only a gold mine if well positioned but can also turn out disastrous if not well handled because of high unemployment.
A state of population report indicates that youth unemployment in Uganda is the highest in sub Saharan Africa.
In all, Inspire Africa targets 3,000 youths across the country. Tugume said a grand prize of sh20m will be awarded to the top contestant and second place will walk away with sh10m.
"Business will get funding and youth will be trained while the project will provide mentorship by highly successful entrepreneurs," said Tugume.
Ten budding entrepreneurs from each region will be selected. The best two from each region will then proceed to participate in the finale in Kampala. Tugume urged fellow youth to change their mind-set if they are to be successful entrepreneur.