We are lookingfor value addition
With Uganda's economy feeling the heat lately, something that has been seen in the devaluation of the shilling, sky-rocketing prices (inflation) on basic needs, many of which are scarce on the market, President Yoweri Museveni said recently that Uganda's small production levels have led to that.
However, while that may be true to a certain extent, the production of food has not been low in Uganda. For agricultural produce in Uganda, the short-coming has been the inability to add value to it, making it suitable for export.
Ronald Kibuule, the state minister for youth affairs noted that one of the major goals of the government for the next few years is to make sure that the youth in Uganda are empowered. This, he says, can only happen if the youth get employment.
For the Ugandan youth in diaspora, a lack of jobs may not be their problem, Kibuule noted. But a lack of ideas on how to use the money they make, as they continue to work overseas. “The kind of lives led by Ugandans abroad is largely better than that of many Ugandans here. The youth particularly that are working in the UK have some good money to be a springboard for their counterparts here,” Kibuule said.
In that case, Kibuule, who hopes to be a guest at the first Uganda Convention UK on August 27 adds some insight. Kibuule has some substantial knowledge about the challenges facing the youth in Uganda and says that the youth in diaspora can be a bedrock for their poor counterparts in Uganda provided they are given information on the Economic potentials Uganda has today.
Kibuule pointed out that the Ugandan youth in the diaspora ought to be more patriotic. That is the only way they can get a sense of responsibility to improve their country. “First and foremost, the Ugandan youth in the disapora should help set up small factories to add value to whatever is produced here in order to boost our export levels,” said Kibuule.
He continued that much as the youth in Uganda have an enterprising mind, they lack capital to set up working units or small factories to make juices from the fruits they grow. This, and the fact that there is a lack of good storage facilities, which has often led to their produce getting spoilt, has swayed many youth in Uganda away from crop production.
Yet, this is one area in which Uganda has comparative advantage. Kibuule's rallying cry to the Ugandans and especially the energetic youth in the diaspora is that since they live in developed societies, they ought to learn from their surroundings and see what they can copy to take Uganda forward.