Thanks Rachel for these "critical and right-on points, I couldn't agree more with all you say. I have also enjoyed reading your recent Economic Update, great initiative and I am so proud of you and colleagues at the Country Office for this interesting product.
I am very much encouraged by what I heard the youth say on one recent TV program. They made the point that it is worthless to sit around and expect Government to "hand" them jobs but that they themselves should show some responsibility: take studies more seriously; set goals, take advantage of opportunities, network with those who have good ideas and aim at achieving something in life; respect gainful labor (including farming), build good work habits/ethics; and stop living beyond ones means. They also pointed out the role of parents and family members in guiding the youth towards gainful employment.
However, the responsibility to unleash the potential and create opportunities for employment still lie with the Government, through: the human development policies; other economic policies for the growth and transformation of the economy; the socio-economic environment within which the private sector can prosper and play a bigger role in job creation and innovation; and of course good governance.
My hope is that when the extractive industry is up and running, Uganda will be smarter than countries which developed these sectors before us and that priority will continue to be on investing the proceeds on the ground: More importantly targeting: skills development, especially among the youth; diversification of the economy into different sectors where the country has "competitive" advantage, besides the supporting sectors like transport, energy, water and communications (Government's current commitment to these is very encouraging)so as to structurally transform this economy and create more opportunities for employment; and making the rural economy productive and attractive to the youth. The informal sector in Uganda and the region is huge and could benefit from better information, organization and facilitation to improve productivity and quality of outputs. Let's join hands as development practitioners, we certainly have a tough job to do because the "time bomb" of the jobless cannot be ignored.