Friday August 22 2014

Graft killing youth enterprise - EU chief

Prof Tarsis Kabwegyere (L), the minister for General Duties

Prof Tarsis Kabwegyere (L), the minister for General Duties in the Office of the Prime Minister, and Amb Schmidt (2ndR) listen to youth who exhibited at the launch in Kampala yesterday. Photo by Rachel Mabala. 

By Stephen Kafeero

Kampala-Uganda will need a generation that is free from the fear of corruption for entrepreneurship to thrive, the European Union Head of Delegation to Uganda Kristian Schmidt, has said.

Amb. Schmidt was speaking at the launch of an EU-funded Youth Entrepreneurship Facility in Kampala yesterday.

“To generate entrepreneurship, you need a youth without fear of corruption, a free youth, a youth of hope, and a youth with trust in institutions.

If I was a young Ugandan planning to start a business, I would be worried that corruption might ruin it,” he said.

He also pointed out the content and quality of education that is currently provided in most schools, the mindset of young people, and lack of affordable finance for youth to start businesses as the other factors impeding entrepreneurship in Uganda.

Amb. Schmidt, who toured an exhibition by some of the beneficiaries of the programme together with Prof Tarsis Kabwegyere, the Minister for General Duties in the Office of the Prime minister, noted jobs for the youth will come from the private sector.

The EU signed a bilateral agreement with the International Labour Organisation that seeks to address youth unemployment in Uganda which currently estimated at more than 80 per cent.
The ambassador’s remarks come at a time when several youth have come out to protest the high unemployment rates in the country and rampant corruption in government.

On June 19, two university students Norman Tumuhimbise and Robert Mayanja, members of the Jobless Brotherhood, were arrested by police after they smuggled pigs into Parliament protesting against political corruption and youth unemployment.

The three-year project seeks to create decent works for young Ugandans both as a means of self-employment and job creation for others.