Empower Youth To Influence SocietyPublish Date: Jun 02, 2014

By Cinderella Anena

Whereas the United Nations defines the youth as a section of the population between the ages of 15-24 years, the National Youth Policy specifies the youth as individuals in between 12-30 years and it is a period of great emotional, physical and psychological modifications.

According to the State of the Worlds Populace Report (2012), Uganda has the Worlds youngest populace, where 78 % of the population is below 30 years, while 52 % are below 15 years and 39.3 % are in between 19-59 %, the ageing population (60 years and above) are only at about 4.6 %.

Uganda continues additionally to experience a high growth in the population of young people from 51.4 % (1969) below 18 years to 53.8 % (1991) and 56.1 %(2012). With such an analysis, such a scenario brings with it frustrating needs and troubles of young individuals that affect their wellbeing.

Notwithstanding their involvement, the unequal gender relations, social and cultural obstacles, low civic awareness and lack of political will and confidence have trailed youth engagement in society today, specifically in political structures and decision making. Lots of unemployed youth constitute, in the eyes of many, a threat to stability.

As an example, youth in slum locations getting includes in compound abuse and crime. Inadequate financing shadow impact in political structures to reactreact to the needs of youth on the ground, this is gotten worse by unequal regional distribution of resources and power leaving the disadvantaged impoverished, illiterate and politically marginalised.

Whereas there is a making it possible for environment for youth participation through the extensive system in political structures and the intricate policy framework on youth participation and youth problems, actual involvement remain low.

The existing youth structures exist for rules and do virtually nothing and the youth are not fully includedassociated with policy making or implementation. The National Youth Council presents with it a secured statutory status which challenges the youth in opposition to presspromote youth concerns.

Much as there has been an institutionalisation of youth involvement like in civil society, there is requirement for a youth focused participation whose arena of world of attention in the political program is set to unlock the opportunities for influence on choice making, power and authority.

To bridge the space, there is need to target youth organizations and develop their capacities in areas such as project planning and management skills, democratic governance and choice making.

Womens involvement can be spruced up with resolving the adverse socio cultural obstacles such as the standard authoritative, patriarchal and hierarchical values that prevent women in getting a voice in decision making.

Youth focused and friendly approach in service interventions ought to be up scaled from planning, application, tracking and evaluation to resolve symbolic youth participation.

To be there yet, youth empowerment possibly needed for significant participation and skills.
The author is a youth activist

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