On Wednesday August 9th, 2017, the President of the Republic of Uganda H.E Yoweri Kaguta Museveni met the 2017 Young Achievers Awards nominees for a chat at State House Entebbe. His chat centered around getting to know the different initiatives being done by the young people that inspired him to later on award each of the winners a 5 Million investment in their respective ideas and initiatives.
Below is his speech.
I take this opportunity to salute all the Youths of Uganda on the occasion to mark International Youth Day and congratulate all the Young Achievers who have been selected as finalists for the 2017 edition of the Awards.
This day is commemorated not as a mere routine but as an occasion to reflect on the contribution young people can contribute towards improving their own lives, and to the nation’s development.
I thank the organizers Reach A Hand Uganda together with it’s partners for having invited me as guest of honour but due to other State duties I am not able to be with you physically.
I am however supportive for the Young Achievers Awards Initiative and the encouragement it gives young people to create their own opportunities and for contributing to the betterment of of our country.
More so, this initiative led by Reach A Hand Uganda, a youth led and youth serving organization, is another testimony that young people themselves appreciate the role that their peers are doing.
I am particularly pleased that the Young Achievers Awards have now been aligned with International youth day, when the world is celebrating the contribution of young people.
Empowering youths is a central tenet of the NRM vision of transforming Uganda into a modern and prosperous country. Accordingly, the NRM government has since 1986, left no stone unturned in creating the conditions necessary for unlocking the full potential of citizens with young people as a central pillar of this effort.
It is important for Uganda’s youths to appreciate the unique place Uganda finds itself in within the global economic system. Uganda is one of the richest countries in the world.
Apart from our massive agricultural potential, which we are exploiting more and more, you will soon see the big industrial projects of agro-processing and industries based on our minerals wealth.
The revitalization of the industrial sector has greatly contributed to employment opportunities, tax revenue and improvement of the country’s balance of payment position.
The manufacturing sector today employs 1.2 million workers compared 15,588 workers in 1986. In addition, because of consistent growth in industry and other sectors, Uganda has posted an annual average economic growth rate of about 6 percent for the last 15 years.
Revenue collection has also grown from an insignificant Shs.5 billion in 1986 to Shs.11.23 trillion in 2015/17. This exponential growth in revenue, has enabled us to expand infrastructure, build schools as well as hospitals among other important government projects.
Particular to young people, we are going to step up efforts of addressing the skills gaps and mismatches in the labour market. To this end, we have already addressed the problem of access by building schools and other institutions. Our focus now will be on improving the quality of learning outcomes.
Equipping our young people with cutting-edge skills and competencies is a critical component for employability, sustained economic growth and effective competition in the global market.
Finally, I would like to say that work is the the youths are the main engine for our growth, because you are the human resource that will drive industry and support services. I therefore urge all of you to lead responsible lives, be mindful of focusing on things and activities that add value to your lives, and the country. Youths must be aware of the agenda of their generation. For now, the most urgent issue is to work together and employ efforts to get our people out of poverty.
The NRM government will continue to provide an enabling environment for youths to grow and in establishing creation of employment opportunities.
Once again, I congratulate all the finalists, the winners and Award recipients.
I highly commend Reach A Hand Uganda for creating the Young Achievers Awards to reward hard work and excellence of young people in Uganda and I salute all the Youths of Uganda.
I thank you!