Early this year when I had the idea to organise the Ugandan Convention, the main mission was to have this big expo on business and investment. Nevertheless, I had one subject that kept bothering me, namely the youth. So we incorporated a forum on youth, not knowing that some of the issues we had thought of raising would actually come into reality during the London riots.
During my meetings with community leaders, I always reiterate a point that we are all to be blamed for what is happening to our youth, and if we do not act in our own homes, we will be losing our young generation.
Losing a generation is not only bad for the community but for the country too. In 10 years from now, most of the active Ugandan adults will be nearing retirement age, which means that the amount of remittance to Uganda will decline too.
This will happen if we don’t try to instil a sense of nationalism in our youth, by introducing them to our culture and families so that they have a connection to Uganda and also get a sense of responsibility to help extended family members in Uganda. Doing this means that the flow of remittance to Uganda will shift from the parents to their children, when the parents have ceased to be able to give this support.
More importantly, we need to encourage an entrepreneurial culture into our youth at an early age and look at Uganda as their prime hope to make a good return on their future investment. We parents also need to create a safe and respectful climate of communication and support within our homes, so that our children feel confident and secure to share their thoughts or problems with us, rather than seeking these necessary interactions from peer groups or gangs.
Lastly, I would like to warmly thank everyone who has in some or many ways, participated in the Convention and helped it become an outstanding event that will greatly benefit the future of Uganda and the UK Diaspora.