Since its introduction in 2013, the Youth Livelihood Fund has been surrounded with setbacks ranging from corruption, failure to pay back by some groups and mismanagement of the funds.
The Ministry of Gender and Labor has attributed those shortcomings to the inefficiency of the community development officers whom it says have not trained and helped these youth groups on the effective use of the fund.
Janet Mukwaya, the Minister of Gender, Labor and Social Affairs, against this background, has said the government is going to retrain the officers as a way of solving these challenges and increasing the effectiveness of the fund in the economic and social development of the beneficaries.
While addressing the press about the findings from the countrywide monitoring of the effectiveness of the fund that has been carried out by the ministry, Mukwaya revealed that most of the youth groups’ projects were not well thought out and most of them had collapsed due to poor planning or unforeseen calamities.
“Starting with mid-September to October, we are going to do a mid-term review of the youth and women fund project, but before we do that, we thought it important to go on the ground and monitor the progress of these projects. Contrary to what has been reported in the press about the non-existence of these projects, we are glad to inform the public that the projects are in place although there have great challenges like poor planning and natural calamities which have made them fail to pay back the given loan,” Mukwaya said.
She also added that “we have realized that the technical team that we hired on the ground was not efficient enough hence misinforming the groups on how to use and pay back the money. Some youth groups started projects that failed because they had not fully thought about them. That is why we are going to retrain the community development officers so that we can see positive effects from this fund.”
Mukwaya also added that the number of youth groups will be reduced from 15 members to 5 or 6 members for easy management.
So far, over 84.55 billion shillings has been given out to over 11503 groups and reached about 14400 youths.
This financial year, the government under the Ministry of Gender and Labor has put aside over Shs58bn that is going to given out.