Jobs and Career

PLANNING AUTHORITY sets up measures to tackle youth unemployment

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Some of the policies, like value addition, will be developed in order to fight youth employment. FILe PHOTO 

By PAUL TAJUBA

Posted  Friday, July 18  2014 at  01:00

In Summary

The Mandate. NPA is mandated to establish a framework that will enable the short and medium-term national priorities to be derived from and guided by agreed strategic objectives, long term development goals and perspective vision aspirations.

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The National Planning Authority (NPA) has drafted drastic strategies that seek to tackle youth unemployment in National Development Plan (NDP 11) that will last five years.
Some of these measures include tackling skyrocketing population by putting all girl children in school, skilling the available work force, expanding light manufacturing and adding value to all Ugandan products before sold both locally and internationally.
In NPD1, the core issues for transforming Uganda were agriculture, ICT, climate change, infrastructure development, energy production among others.
However, only energy development through construction of dams, roads and gender issues were the mostly attained issues. Government cited lack of transparency and poor coordination of programmes among the reasons for the failure of other priorities in NPD1.
Now the government is looking to money from oil, which expected to start flowing in 2018, to pad funding gaps and also tighten accountability gaps.

Biggest challenge
According to Dr Patrick Birungi, the director head Economics and Strategic Planning at NPA, unemployment among the youth, is a time bomb considering their population and thus, drastic measures must be undertaken.
“Unemployment is one of the biggest challenges the county is facing today and we must agree that small interventions will not yield big results. It is important therefore, that as a country we develop policies that are able to integrate youth employment concerns,” Dr Birungi said told Jobs and Career.
“In value addition, we are specifically targeting agriculture, minerals and tourism which are key focal areas in the second national planning. So when we talk about oil and gas, there must be value addition, if it is coffee, there must be value addition and this means creating jobs.”
NPA derives planning priorities by an Act of Parliament enacted in 2002 in accordance with Article 125 of the Constitution.
The NPA, which took over the planning function from the Finance Ministry five years ago, came up with a five-year plan that runs until 2015.
For NPA to achieve results in NDPII, however, other ministries like the health, gender and education must work bitter harder through stopping corruption, availing contraceptives to those who need them, sensitise communities in rural areas about the value of education and availing right skills to the available labour force.
In a recent strategy meeting on formulation of the NDPII, NPA chairperson, Dr Kisamba Mugerwa, identified lack of proper coordination between the government ministries, departments and agencies as being responsible for the poor enforcement of the national development plan.
Dr Mugerwa said: “One of the key findings of the mid-term review of the NDP was the lack of alignment of the sector development plan.”
The second NDP is to commence in November.
Dr Birungi also urged youth to desist from being used by politicians who make them dependent on handouts instead of availing them with right skills that would transform their lives.
The government has on several occasions given out money to groups of women and youth to fight poverty. However, majority of the cash has been diverted into sports betting, buying luxuries and some marring more wives.

ABOUT NDP 1

Most of the priorities set by NPA in the last five years like addressing climate change concerns, gender and HIV/Aids agriculture transformation, tourism advancement, mineral development, improving stock of infrastructure such as roads, rail, ICT, energy production and human capital expansion were not achieved. A few priorities like gender issues were mainly attained through civil society organisations,agriculture transformation was not attained but government performed well in improving infrastructure especially roads, energy production increase through completion of Bujagali dam and start of numerous dams like Karuma and Isimba

rmugerwa@uganda.nationmedia.com