Thursday August 28 2014

Equip youth with technical skills

By Benjamin Mulepo

We can not look at the Public Service and the formal private sector to employ the youth. It is high time the government unblocked the potential breakthroughs hidden in the stifled sectors like agriculture, carpentry, masonry, art and painting, tailoring and weaving, metal fabrication, etc.

Government must facilitate these seemingly unrewarding, mundane fields left to the brilliant youth that society has erstwhile mistaken to be unintelligent.

But this indirectly calls for an expeditious reformation of co-operative societies for the farmers who should be rich but have sacrificed their strength, sweat and draining efforts to middlemen because government thinks it must liberalise everything!

But we must as a nation target vocationally skilled youth so that they are organised in guilds and given billions of shillings with maximum monitoring to ensure efficacy and results that would revolutionise the economy.

Government has hoodwinked Ugandans that by sponsoring science students the problem of unemployment will be solved. Just be observant and you will see miserable doctors, engineers, zoologists, botanists and agronomists roaming the streets of towns around the country!

In ‘No Longer At Ease’ Chinua Achebe relays one of the meetings of the Igbo living in Lagos, under their umbrella association Umoufia progressive union. They were in a heated debate about what had brought them to Lagos. Some said money, and others said work. But one elder told them ‘No, we did not come to Lagos for work, we came for money.

Otherwise, we can go back and clear the bushes between Mbaino and Umoufia.’

In essence, therefore, the challenge of unemployment among the youth is not due to the unavailability of work or even the wanton disregard for it because of poor attitude or laziness, but because a lot of the work they are able to lay their hands on is not being rewarded monetarily.

It is high time Ugandans learnt to buy Ugandan made products; if they are poorer in quality compared to foreign products, then government should do all in its power to aesthetise them.

The grain of economic worth that will accrue from buying sofa sets made in Nsambya, clothes sewn by Agoa, and suit cases improved from metallic ones to synthetic ones in Nakawa, will be amazing.
Benjamin Mulepo,