Show cause, to be trusted to take charge of this nation’s future

By: Kyokwijuka Alexander

Dear young people of Uganda,

Every generation is always charged with dealing with its elephant in the room. This is a statement I admired from Ronald Mukasa of Enterprise Uganda during the 8th Reality Check Conference on Employment, Education and entrepreneurship in Uganda organised by the Center for Development Alternatives and the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung in Kampala. Did you know that The great Dr. Martin Luther King Jnr. died at the age of 39 and by this time he had already set his agenda and legacy to a height worth reckoning with?

Did you also know that out of the 8 million or so Ugandan youths who are part of the labour force, only 800,000 of these are unemployed? Did you also know that Uganda was ranked by the GEM report of 2015 as the most Entrepreneurial country in the world but also that 95% of businesses in Uganda don’t celebrate their 5th birthday? Is it true that Ugandans don’t have the requisite skills to contribute to economic growth and development? Are we also aware that Uganda has one of the youngest populations in the world? Have the young people strived to make such an enormous contribution to society just like Martin Luther King did? If the answer was YES to this, wouldn’t our society be greater than it is.

Do we pick any sense from what happened in France? Did you know that Emmanuel Macron only launched his movement in August last year, and took to the Presidential race in November last year and at 39 he is President of one of the greatest nations in the world (France)? Also to note that President Barack Obama openly supported this young man because he believed in his (Macron) pro people economic reforms and Macron went ahead to win the race? Does this challenge us the young people on whether we have anything to offer to this country and saw people should believe in us?

Barack Obama, was not so much older than these two (Martin and Macron) when he shocked the world to become the first black American President. And to most of us, we really saw him as one of our generation, the audacity of hope and a vanguard of possibilities. One reality is, This is not by mistake.

Our own Dr. Rt. Col. Kiiza Besigye and Gen. Mugisha Muntu, rose to serious ranks in this country at such a tender age. The former was minister at 29 and the latter was CDF at the same age of 29. This was because they had a lot to offer this country. Even to date, they still shine on the Ugandan public arena.

One thing you will realise is that, and I will again quote the words of Mr. Ronald Mukasa of Enterprise Uganda, “each generation must fight its own elephant in the room”. My question is, What is the current generation doing to fight the elephant we have in the room? Do we even know the elephant we are faced with? I challenge you ladies and gentleman, the youth of Uganda, to make your contribution felt towards nation building, economic transformation and other endeavours as you may deem fit. I challenge you to show cause for the old generation to entrust you with the affairs of this country and her subsequent future of this nation.

The writer is the Executive Director of Youth Aid Africa and can be reached on akyokwijuka@gmail.com

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