National youth manifesto 2011 2016
This Youth Manifesto is a political document especially if we go by the definition of politics as “who gets what, when and how”. It arose out of youth consultative meetings country-wide.
Published on: Mar 3, 2016
Transcripts - National youth manifesto 2011 2016
“Youth Voices Count”
THE NATIONAL YOUTH MANIFESTO
This manifesto has been published with support from UYONET partners; Deepening Democracy Programme, United Na-
tions Democracy Fund, International Republican Institute, Friedrich Ebert Stiftung and National Endowment for Democracy.
Uganda Youth Network P.O. Box 28611, Kampala,
Tel: +256-312-276944, http://www.uyonet.org
outh Network, (c) 2010
All rights reserved. Reproduction of all or parts of this publication for education or other non-commercial purposes is al-
lowed without prior authorization of the copyright holder provided the source is fully acknowledged and any alterations to
its integrity indicated. Reproduction of this publication for sale and other commercial purposes is prohibited without prior
written consent of the copyright holder.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
1.2 Policy Framework.......................................3
1.4. Objectives of this Manifesto...............4
5. PARTICIPATION IN
The youth in 2005 under the stewardship of the Uganda Youth Network and with support from International Republican
Institute, developed the Uganda Youth Manifesto after realizing that youth apathy was hindering the smooth transition to
democratic governance.The manifesto was presented to the different political parties as a set of achievable demands intended
to make the voices of the youth count in the country’s political and social economic processes. Some of the demands
embedded in the youth manifesto were adopted by some of the political parties namely the NRM and UPC, and subsequently
included in their party manifestos.
The ongoing electoral activities present yet another opportunity for young people to re-organize themselves and engage
political actors with genuine concerns regarding their own participation and social economic wellbeing in a popular Youth
Manifesto. The Uganda Youth Network accordingly organized consultative activities across the country to engage the youth
and other stakeholders from across the different regions for input into the Manifesto.
The tenet of the Manifesto revolves around youth ownership of the process, a basis for unity in diversity, a bottom - up agenda
and a benchmark for inclusive engagements now and in the future. The responsibilities and minimum demands embedded
in the National Youth Manifesto will be the guiding principles now and after elections on how the youth will push forward,
lobby and advocate as well as hold elected officials accountable.
Uganda Youth Network expresses gratitude to the Deepening Democracy Programme (DDP), United Nations Democracy
Fund (UNDEF), Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES), International Republican Institute (IRI) and National Endowment for Democracy
(NED) for supporting the consultative processes and National Youth Conference (NYC), without which, this manifesto would
not have seen the light of day. In the same manner gratitude is extended to Mr. James Lwanga of Uganda Labour Resource
Center and Mr. Caleb Katwebaze of the Department of Sociology, Makerere University for agreeing to take the lead in drafting
On behalf of the Youth movement in Uganda
The YOUTH of Uganda as full citizens constituting the majority of the population and as such ENTITLED to recognition on
issues of governance;
RECOGNISING that their participation and impact on the national scene has not always been concomitant to their numerical
NOTING that the 1995 Constitution of Uganda realizes and recognizes this imbalance and thus explicitly calls for equal
opportunity in several of its provisions;
FURTHER NOTING that young people have the right to work, associate, collaborate and network with other sectors on
shared values, aspiration, objectives and goals on an equal and mutually beneficial basis.
RE AFFIRMING the inalienable right of young people to take part in the governance of their country and hold the leaders
Do hereby COMMIT ourselves to:
i. Respect, promote and protect democratic and other values and uphold and affirm the rights of all citizens of Uganda;
ii. Use our strength in diversity to promote national harmony in all political, social and economic affairs;
iii. Exercise political tolerance, maturity, sobriety and respect for other people’s political views and opinions;
iv. Desist from acts of violence, hooliganism and lawlessness;
v. Desist from corrupt practices and promote transparency and accountability in public affairs;
vi. Take active role in the activities and affairs of political parties and organisations.
vii. Be sensitive to rights of people with disabilities and recognize the important roles and contributions that they can
make to national development.
viii. Get involved in all activities that generate income.
A new thinking about development has emerged which revolves around realisation of human rights as a surest means of
achieving national and human development. The National Objective and Directive Principle of State Policy number XIV,
as stated in the Constitution of the Republic of Uganda 1995, calls upon the state to fulfill the fundamental rights of all
Ugandans to social justice and economic development. Uganda has pursued the poverty Eradication agenda through
the implementation of the Poverty Eradication Action Plan (PEAP). The PEAP is/has been Uganda’s national progressive
policy development framework and medium-term planning tool. It is also the Poverty Reduction Strategy (PRSP), guiding
the formulation of Government policy and the implementation of programs through sector wide approaches and a
decentralised system of governance.
It is in respect of the issues raised above that WE (the Youths), together and under the youth umbrella- Uganda Youth
Network (UYONET)- stand up to pledge and affirm to the government our support to the policies, programmes, activities
and projects intended to ameliorate the youth lot. In the same voice we propose some areas of critical concern that often
downplay the plight of the youth, and accordingly ask government and other policy makers at the national and local levels
to consider actions that are youth- friendly. Our combined voices are hereby laid out in this National Youth Manifesto.
This Youth Manifesto is a political document especially if we go by the definition of politics as “who gets what, when and
how”. It arose out of youth consultative dialogues representative of different youth segments country wide. It therefore
provides a platform of a common set of recommendations for the achievement of a vibrant and empowered youth group
in nation building.
The issues tackled in this Manifesto specifically include; low participation of youth in governance, un-employment, health
and education. Each of these themes forms a section, Each section begins with a critical analysis of the problem, steps being
taken by government if any, the unmet need, and is concluded by the policy demands deemed crucial, to be addressed by
the government, relevant policy makers, political parties and other relevant stakeholders named therein.
1.3 Policy Framework
The National Youth Manifesto was generated with full consideration of the legal and policy framework that is expressly
provided for or implied in the international, regional and Uganda’s legal instruments and policy documents e.g. the
National Development Plan (NDP) 2010/11- 2014/15, the National Youth Policy (NYP) of 2004 and the African Youth Charter
(AYC), which prescribes responsibilities to member states for the development of the Youth. Uganda is a signatory to this
Charter. Others include the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), the International Covenant on
Social, Economical and Cultural Rights (ICSECR), Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), International Convention on
Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) as well as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
The National Youth Manifesto was developed using a participatory approach. A grounded theory approach was used
owing to its suitability. This was an inductive approach whereby collected ideas were analysed and practical problems
examined within their own context rather than from a predetermined theoretical basis.
A series of regional consultative dialogues drawing a total of 3,900 participants nationally were carried out. This was in
addition to essay competitions which attracted 214 essays which were received and synthesized.
Other data was collected through direct observation, review of secondary (grey) literature which included District Strategic
Development Plans, Departmental records at the districts, interviews with key informants e.g. Chief Administrative officers
(CAO), four Focus Group Discussions (FGD), and rapid report writing in the field. At the head office, all views collected were
analysed to provide a basis for the policy recommendations forwarded in this manifesto.
During the consultative processes, strategic collaborations as well as engagements were done; at the national level UYONET
partnered with the Uganda Governance Monitoring Platfoam under the NGO forum to solicit for a multi-stakeholder input
into the youth manifesto which could subsequently feed into the wider citizens’manifesto.
1.5 Objectives of this Manifesto;
1) To express the unmet needs of the youths in national development in one
in the key areas that directly affect the livehood of the youths in Uganda as
highlighted in this Youth manifesto 2011
3) To pledge our total support and commitment to all youth-friendly
development initiatives nationally and locally in communities
In this National Youth Manifesto, unemployment is defined as a situation where a
personisnotengagedin gainfulemployment.InUganda,the urbanunemployment
rate for the youth is 12 percent, about seven times the rural rate of 1.7 percent. In
Kampala, Uganda’s capital city, youth unemployment rate is 32.2 percent, while for
those who have University degrees their unemployment rate is 36 percent (400,000
graduates Vs 18,000 jobs). Not very rosy statistics but yet there’s still hope.
In Uganda, UBOS reported that the size of the working population is expected
to increase from 14 million in 2007 to 17 million in 2011. This is an indication of
additional jobs that need to be created given the current stock of jobs. The
projected working population will be 55%. In response; Job creation, creation of
wealth,making loans available and an enabling business environment should be
the focus of the next elected government.
The major causes of unemployment among the youth as identified by the youth during consultative dialogues include:
i) The relevance of the subject study; the youths at all forums emphasized that unemployment is caused by lack of
relevance of the subject studied. There is a lot of disparity between the subject content and the demand in the job
ii) Rural-urban migration. There is rampant exodus of the young and energetic people from rural to urban areas in search
of employment and better social amenities but when they find none, they join the vicious circle of unemployment
iii) Lack of career guidance in schools. This makes students undertake irrelevant courses where one can hardly get
iv) Lack of access to resources like land and capital. The youth are limited in access to resources that would enable them
to employ themselves.
v) Lack of youth focused programs. There is no effective program that has been put in place aimed at addressing
unemployment problems among the young people.
Policy Demand 1
The youth demand an independent Ministry separate from the
current Ministry of Gender, Labour, and Social Development.
• A national labor force survey to ascertain the current
manpower situation in the country and register all the
unemployed youth is necessary. This shall indicate the
available qualified labor per field/category so that the relevant institutions mandated to create jobs for the youth can
easily advertise this available labor.
• To avoid skills mismatch, the government should restructure the national education curriculum to focus on skills
development and individual empowerment in order to produce graduates relevant to the job market demands.
• The Ministry will among others, deal with youth
employment with the goal of reducing unemployment
by at least 70% by 2016.
• The Ministry will be key in establishing marketing boards,
cooperative societies and young farmers round tables.
• Establishment of a business information center that
identifies key entry points for youth in the market.
• Programs aimed at reducing the negative attitudes towards blue collar jobs among the youth and the population as a
whole should be deliberately initiated and promoted by government.
• The Government should establish a Youth Entrepreneurs Scheme (YES), which will increase opportunities for young
entrepreneurs. Through this scheme, Government should offer credit to youths on concessionary terms to enable
them start their own businesses or generally subsidize businesses started by the youth.
• Creation of“business parks”in secondary schools and universities to serve as incubators of business ideas and projects
generated by young people will be crucial, in promoting innovation among the youth. This process/project should be
encouraged by gazetting specific government tenders in the procurement law for the youth as a form of affirmative
• As was proposed in the draft youth policy, Training for Rural Economic Empowerment (TREE), should target the youth
in building the capacity of local governments and NGOs to plan, design and implement community based training
and support programmes through building linkages to Micro-Finance Schemes, post-training and extension services.
These achievements will be measured by the following indicators:
i. Establishment of a Youth Ministry
ii. The number of youth friendly projects initiated through the youth entrepreneurship schemes to respond to the
employment problems of the youths.
iii. Number of business parks established per district.
iv. Number of youths benefiting from the youth entrepreneurship schemes and programmes at national and local levels.
v. Number of Youth employed per district per year between 2011-2016
Policy demand 2
The government should
restructure the National
to focus on Individual
empowerment. As young
people “we want to create
jobs and not seek for
Uganda has the highest school drop out rate in East Africa with 25 children out
of every 100 enrolled in Primary One reaching Primary Seven. In Kenya, out of
of every 100 children seventy five (75) reach P.7. While the literacy rate for youth
increased from 70% in 1990 to 79% in 2001, surpassing the current adult literacy
rate, the youth economic empowerment level has remained significantly low
compared to adults due to limited focus on vocational education.
rights-based approaches also require that efforts be geared towards ensuring
that people have sufficient information, in the language they understand to
enhance their active and meaningful participation.
There should be reversal of the current science
oriented education policy and instead merely
guide ( not decide for) students so they can pursue
preferred career paths without institutional huddles.
Subsidize the cost of university education so that
youths from poor background can afford.
The youths in Uganda do not have adequate access to information about affairs that affect them. There can not be free,
active and meaningful participation in the absence of timely, accurate information. It was repeatedly noted during the
collection of views concerning the formulation of this manifesto, that many subjects taught in schools are not very attuned
to the demand in the labour market.
This will be verified as indicated by:
i. Revision of the national curriculum
ii. Number of vocational institutions established
iii. Number of schools offering TVE
iv. Number of youths enrolling for TVE
v. The ability of the youth to transform skills into income generating activities (IGA)
vi. The income disparity between youths with technical skills and those without.
Policy demand 3
Government should increase the budgetary allocation towards education. The national programmes of Universal Primary
Education (UPE) and Universal Secondary Education (USE) should be upgraded to cater for the holistic needs of young
people today such as Life Skills Development and Career Guidance.
The following will be the indicators:
i. Budget allocation to educational activities
ii. Youth – friendly adjustments made in UPE and USE.
iii. Number of drop out youths rejoining school programmes
iv. Number of child mothers allowed to resume formal education
v. Number of youths benefiting from life skills development and career guidance in schools and communities
The health situation among the youths in Uganda, like many
other Sub Saharan African countries has remained generally poor.
For example, globally, about half of people newly infected with
HIV each year are under the age of 25 years. In this manifesto, it
is believed that with good health, the youths will spend less on
medical bills, save and invest money in economic ventures, but
most importantly with good health the youths will be economically
Life expectancy at birth is as low as 47 years, infant mortality rate
at 83 per 1000 live births and maternal mortality ratio at 507 per
100,000 live births. Health services have remained inadequate and
Uganda has a weak and vulnerable health service delivery system.
In Uganda, 25% of young people conceive by the age of 19,
mothers dying over 35% and such early teenage pregnancies fuel
fertility and because they occur early in life, they risk the lives of
young mothers thereby increasing the rate of maternal mortality.
In 2006, with a total population of close to 28 million people,
Uganda had 3,237 health facilities and for every 100,000 citizens,
there were 8 physicians, 55 nurses and 16 midwives.
HIV/AIDS has orphaned scores of children. Uganda has about
two million orphans, 45% of whom are the result of HIV/AIDS –
yet the number is rising. HIV/AIDS has created long-term impacts
on the education system, which include mortality of children and
The pandemic has also adversely affected labour productivity and
output in all organisations through decimating the workforce, especially
Many youths, following the death of their parent(s), have moved into
extended families. Most of these live in very difficult circumstances
marked by discrimination, unequal treatment compared to other
children in the normal homes, stigmatisation and again, leaving without
having the basic needs.
negative experiences with extended relatives, the youth advocate that
the government creates a conducive health empowerment.
Policy demand 4
Government should waive taxes on health products, streamline and
strengthen by funding the delivery of youth-friendly basic health
services like mobile clinics, health booths/posts, and friendly means
of distributing contraceptives in order to provide at least 70% of the
youths with easy access to reproductive health services by the year
This will be indicated by:
i. Percentage of youths easily accessing mobile clinics.
ii. The number of youths with easy access to contraceptives.
iii. The frequency of visits by the young persons to local health
5. PARTICIPATION IN DECISION MAKING
Participation and inclusion under a human rights based approach are not development options rather human rights that
must be respected. Right based approaches require a great deal of meaningful participation of those targeted or affected
by plans, policies and programmes. According to the UN Declaration on the Right to Development, such participation must
be “active, free and meaningful”. It should allow people who are the principal beneficiaries of the policy or programme, to
express and identify the objectives they want to achieve. Opportunities ought to be created to enable them exercise their
right of participation through community level activities.
Uganda has the youngest population in the world with 77% of its population under the age of 30 years. The projections
indicate that in 2011, when Uganda will be holding its next presidential and parliamentary polls, 15 million Ugandans will
be eligible to vote. The youths constitute over 60% of Ugandan voters.
The most common challenges include but are not limited to:
and allowing political parties to recruit them into brigades intended to further political parties’motives. Ultimately,
the youth become aggressive and destructive instead of being transformed into pontential leaders.
Given this state of affairs, the youths hereby advocate for the following policy demands to the next government in order to
enhance youth participation in making decisions that affect them:
Youth demand 5
The government should give utmost priority to the National Youth Council (NYC) by
increasing its funding, strengthening the existing youth structures, build the capacity
of the youths through well coordinated youth- related activities. Government should
engage an increased percentage of youths through the various district youth councils
(DYC) in formulation of programmes and policies that directly affect them by the year
This achievement will be verified by examining:
i. The percentage increase in the budget allocation to the NYC
ii. The percentage of youths involved in youth–related programmes at all
levels of decision making.
iii. The number of district youth councils and other youth groups consulted in
the process of policy formulation.
Youth demand 6
Government and Political Party leaders MUST disband political party youth brigades and
paramilitary groups in all subsequent electioneering processes. Government should in
addition, re-organise existing youth structures as grounds for grooming future political
leaders with values of tolerance and non-violence.
This will be verified by:
i. The number of political youth brigades disbanded from political
ii. Number and administration of programmes intended to improve
the participation of the youth in decision making processes.
iii. Percentage number of youths groomed as sufficiently grounded
Youth demand 7
Government, political parties and civil society MUST deliberately develop
comprehensiveYouth leadership mentoring programmes that usher in a generation
of leaders with values of integrity, patriotism and self reliance.
This is will be verified by:
i. Number of leadership mentoring programmes developed at national
level by government, political parties and civil society
ii. Number of Youth equiped with leadership skills through established
iii. Levels of tolarence, intergrity and patriotism exhibited by the trained