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Account first before giving us more money, youth tell government

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By Olive Eyotaru

Posted  Tuesday, December 24  2013 at  02:00

In Summary

Under the Uganda Youth Network and the Forum for Women in Democracy, the youth said no accountability on the distribution of funds under the Skilling Uganda Youth Enterprise Scheme (2011), the Shs25 billion Youth Venture Capital Fund (2012), as well as the Shs32 billion Graduate Venture Fund (2012) has been made, raising suspicion on its expenditure.

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Kampala- Government should account for funds allocated for youth development programmes over the last three years before the recently launched Shs265 billion Youth Livelihood Programme can be implemented.

Under the Uganda Youth Network and the Forum for Women in Democracy, the youth said no accountability on the distribution of funds under the Skilling Uganda Youth Enterprise Scheme (2011), the Shs25 billion Youth Venture Capital Fund (2012), as well as the Shs32 billion Graduate Venture Fund (2012) has been made, raising suspicion on its expenditure.

Call for audit
“We need to have a comprehensive audit and evaluation of the past funds. Some youth have the impression that the Youth Livelihood Fund had stolen money from the youth fund. Since this is a revolving fund, we need a guarantee on the breakdown of expenditure,” Ms Isabella Akiteng, the coordinator Green Light Movement, said.

The youth made the remarks recently while meeting MPs on the Uganda Parliamentary Forum on Youth Affairs to discuss the progress of the Youth Livelihood Programme.

“The youths were not included in the conceptualisation of the programme. They have also been excluded in its management and coordination. What steps are in place to ensure that the youth are integrated at all levels besides being grantees?” Ms Akiteng said.

Mr Ivan Otire from Students for Global Democracy Uganda also faulted the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development for not holding sensitisation campaigns to enlighten the youth on how they can access the funds.

“Government is aware that the youths have the largest constituency. The Youth Fund failed to progress due to lack of information. We need a widely participatory process,” Mr Otire opined.
Mr Musa Kasozi, the executive director Youth After School, tasked the government to take advantage of the youth structures in districts.

Mr Peter Ogwang (Youth Eastern) said the government is committed to ensuring the livelihood of youth is improved and promised to follow up the issue with the ministry.

oeyotaru@ug.nationmedia.com