The revised national youth policy continues to gather dust in the Ministry of Gender, Labor and Social Development, more than a year since it was drafted.
The national youth policy that was updated in January last year is yet to be adopted by the ministry as the official government policy. The policy document was drafted by the National youth council in consultation with other stakeholders in 2010 and 2011.
It was presented to the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development for adoption, but to date nothing has happened. Government continues to operate based on the old youth policy that was adopted in 2000.
Among the various things that, the new policy seeks to address is youth unemployment, which the documents puts at 53%. The latest report on youth unemployment produced by Action Aid International estimates youth unemployment to be at 63%.
Emmanuel Kitamirike, the Executive director Uganda Youth Network now says the programmes being implemented by government in relation to the youth are at the whims of those who control them. He says they are boycotting the national youth celebrations to remind the Ministry to adopt the National youth Policy.
Mary Karoro Okurut, the the Minister for Gender, Labour and Social Development said her ministry is still drawing up an implementation plan before adopting the policy. She says it would be detrimental to have the policy in place without an implementation mechanism.
The policy document outlines four mechanisms in which to address the looming youth problems, the major one being direct government intervention in form of financial and technical support towards the youth, provision of capital to youth entrepreneurs and also create market for products produced by youths.
The national youth policy is supposed to be part of the guidelines followed by the Ministry of Gender, Labor and Social development.