New Vision (Kampala)

1 February 2013

Uganda: 62 Percent of Youth Jobless - Report

AS the Government struggles to come up with programs geared at supporting the youth, a new report indicates that 62% of Uganda's youth are jobless.

The study titled; "Lost Opportunity?" notes that the high unemployment rate among the youth poses a serious threat to the well-being of society.

The study which was released in Kampala was done by Action Aid International Uganda (AAIU), Uganda National NGO Forum and Development Research and Training (DRT).

The report stresses that the unemployed youth are likely to become a source of instability if government doesn't plan for them early enough.

It appeals for urgent intervention to plan for idle youth population who are likely to become problem to the country's security.

"Majority of the youth out of school have no regular work or income. 61.6% of the respondents in the study were not in any form of employment, majority of whom were in urban centers," the report notes.

The report further shows that 12% of all youth in Uganda aged between 12-30 are chronically poor with higher poverty rates among 12-17 years olds as compared to the 18-30 years old.

The study was done among 1,100 youth sampling 100 youth from the selected 11 districts across the 10 sub-regions across the country.

The districts include; Masindi, Mitooma, Katakwi, Luuka, Pader, Zombo, Nakasongola, Buvuma, Kampala, Kotido and Wakiso.

Rebecca Kakundakwe from AAIU, noted that where there is unemployment and poverty, insecurity, crime, drug abuse and lawlessness are always close by.

Presiding over the launch of the report, the Commissioner for Youth and Children Affairs, Ministry of Gender and Social Development, Kyateeka Mondo observed the need for a purposeful, focused and targeted education system for youth to avoid being duped in courses that are not relevant to the job market.

"Universities continue to craft courses depending on how romantic they sound to them but when they are not helpful to our youths after graduating. We need prudent labor market and marketing information system," he added.

Mondo asked the youth to get involved in private enterprises, stressing so far sh15b has already been accessed by 3,500 different organizations from different districts across the country since October last year.

He said the Government has also embarked on a graduate venture youth fund where youths will be accessing funds using their transcripts as security and get it back after paying back.

According to statistics from the ministry of Gender around 400,000 youth are annually released into the job market to compete for about 9,000 available jobs.

World Bank 2012 statistics show that Uganda has the youngest population in the world at 83%, after Niger.

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