The United Nation population Fund Country Representative in Uganda, Alain Sibenaler has challenged the Government of Uganda to come up with a well-designed planning program that will support the youth in the country to overcome socio-economic challenges.
Speaking at the Launch of the National Population and Housing census 2014 analytical report conducted by the Uganda Bureau of Statistics at Imperial Royale Hotel in Kampala, Sibenaler said that the increasing population of the youth to have a better future, the government must ensure that the teenagers have access to quality education, decent jobs and health which is key in their youthful livelihoods.
“The Government of Uganda must be prepared through planning and good governance to expand younger peoples access to education, health and housing as well as expand their opportunities for urban employment and economic productivity,” he said.
He explained that the youth are the custodian of the future and can be at the forefront of technological innovation and social transformation but this to occur the Government should provide the younger population with quality education and decent job opportunities if the youth are to be productive.
Presenting the findings of the Analytical National Population Housing Census report, Helen Namirembe Nviri, the director of Population and Social statistics at Ubos said they found youth between the age bracket of 18-30 constituting about 23% of the total population but what makes the situation worse is that 8% of the youth had never attended school while 75% had left school and only 85 had attained Tertiary Education.
Further findings from the study show that about one-third of the youth aged between were involved in subsistence agriculture.
Why the Youth must be given more attention?
It’s believed that the youth constitute the largest portion in the country’s population which is about 37.6 million.
However, although the youth are the majority, the same teenagers are challenged with both social and economic challenges ranging from early pregnancy due to poverty, unemployment and access to quality social services in the sectors of Health and Education.
On Housing and household characteristics, the UBOS Analytical report reveals that more than half of the households used paraffin for lighting; the highest incidences being in Bukedi subregion, standing at 75% and followed by Karamoja regions which depended more on fire woods as source of lighting.
On the participation in income generating activities, the director told journalists during the launch of the study that about 80% of the households about 5.8 million were engaged in agriculture in 2014 of which 95% of the agricultural households were engaged in crop growing while 73% were in Livestock farming, but of the farming households only 65 were practicing modern farming.
Commenting on the report, UBOS executive Director Ben Paul Mungyereza said Government should come up with solutions to ensure that the largest population has access to modern social services if the country is to achieve the projected goals of transforming into middle incomes status in the coming years.
What are the recommendations from the study?
On Agriculture, the study is advocating for the government to intensify programs that intends to moderns the agricultural sector.
“Improvements in program for modernization of agriculture are pertinent since most of the population is still in substance agriculture. This can be through commercialization as well as implantation of strategies that are aimed at agricultural processing,” reads part of the policy proposals from the report to Government.
On Energy, the report is urging Government to continue promoting alternative sources of energy such as solar energy biogas among other alternatives.
The UBOS census Analytical report covered key areas such as demographic and social economic indicators on age and sex distribution fertility, mortality, urbanization migration among other indicators.