BusinessCrime & Investigation

City Protest: Unemployed Youth Declare Kawempe “Independent State”

Police have Monday morning held a group of youth who were protesting high rates of unemployment, blocking traffic flow and disrupting business in Kampala.

Uganda has one of the youngest and most rapidly growing populations in the world and preparing them for productive jobs remains a social and political challenge for the government.

Frustrated youth today took to the streets in Kawempe and Wandegeya, saying a lot needed to be done to provide them a livelihood.

“Enough is enough; for how long shall this situation of hopelessness obtain?” one of the unidentified protesters shouted.

“Uganda belongs to all of us; we demand jobs to survive.”

Some of the youth declared Kawempe an “Independent State” from Uganda.

The angry youth had all the major roads blocked using tree branches and other materials.

This compelled police to round-up the ring leaders with the rest taking off to unknown destinations.

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Kampala Metropolitan Police spokesperson Luke Oweyesigire was not readily available for comment.

Uganda has a fast growing population which increased from 9.5 million in 1969 to 34.6 million, according to the national census statistics.

The Uganda National Population and Housing Census 2014 established that 78 percent of the working age population (14-64 years) was working.

Despite recent growth in wage employment, informal employment continues to be predominant in Uganda.

The 2012/13 household survey estimated that 3.1 million people representing 79 percent of working persons were employed in the informal sector outside agriculture.

With a fast growing population and low levels of education, the country continues to face large numbers of low-skilled labour market entrants every year.

Researchers have since suggested that a successful programme of universal secondary education would significantly reduce the annual number of new labour force entrants as many young people would be engaged in secondary education full time.

Practical education remained a key requirement for a country to have a high quality and productive labour force.

President Museveni recently said attributed the non-satisfactory progress of most of the poverty eradication programs to lack of skills and training for the population; the more reason why the Government for starting the Skilling Uganda Program.

He observed that the NRM government has, since 1995, initiated several programmes aimed at poverty eradication like the Entandikwa loan scheme, the NAADS, the Microfinance, provision of the Youth and Women Fund and the Operation Wealth Creation. However, he added, poverty still remains a big challenge to the country.

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