President Yoweri Museveni used his meeting with youth from Sebei sub-region’s districts of Kween, Kapchorwa, and Bukwo Districts to emphasize the private sector’s role in reducing unemployment.
The president was winding his tour of Sebei where he met leaders of the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) in the ongoing campaigns for the 2021 presidential election.
Museveni, in power since 1986 when after a five-year bush war, is seeking to extend his rule to four decades.
He told the youth that “due to the taxes from investors (attracted by the peaceful atmosphere), we are able to provide youth with capital and funds through programs like emyooga, Youth Livelihood Programme, Youth Capital Venture Fund, OWC, and girl-child-skilling.”
“My appeal however is that with these funds, the youth should engage in income-generating activities rather than work for their stomachs, because there are more needs than the need to cure hunger,” he added.
He noted that if the youths engaged in income-generating activities in the private sector, they would help “reduce the scramble for the few government jobs (480,000) by young people.”
He contrasted 13 million job opportunities in the private sector against government which only had capacity to employ less than half a million people.
“In any case, private sector has at least 13 million vacancies (Industry=700,000, Services=1,300,000, ICT=170,000, Commercial Agriculture= 11,965,200), hence should be our major target,” he went on.
He urged the youths to emulate his children who have started their own businesses in the private sector instead of seeking government jobs.
“My children through their youth have not been employed by the government. Natasha Karugire for instance is a farmer, her sisters are also in the private sector. Only Muhoozi is employed by the government because he is in the army.”
He criticized MPs for pushing for salary increment instead of injecting funds in projects that can help create jobs.
“The other problem is the failure of parliament to prioritize. You find people budgeting to raise their salaries and increasing their foreign travel. We must emphasize budgets that cater for the masses to be able to raise Wealth Creation funds. Those who poorly budget are the people you elect,” the president observed.