Deputy Speaker urges world leaders to invest in skilling the youth

The Deputy Speaker of Parliament Thomas Tayebwa has called upon world leaders, policymakers, and development partners to invest in skilling young people in order to curb unemployment.

Tayebwa made the call recently  while addressing over 400 global delegates at the ongoing week-long 63rd Organization of African, Caribbean, and Pacific States (OACPS) – European Union Parliamentary Assembly that convened  in the Belgium capital, Brussels.

Citing Uganda having the youngest population in the world currently, with over 70% below 30 years of age, and educated, Tayebwa observed the biggest challenge is employment opportunities, noting that investing more in technical programs will empower the youth to be job creators rather than job seekers.

The National Population Council (NPC) figures, a state agency that advises the government on population show that Uganda has a population growth rate of 3.3 percent per annum, making it the third fastest-growing population in the world.

From the current 45 million, Uganda’s population is projected to reach 75 million by 2040.

The summit is discussing essential themes that include the raging civil war in Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), security dilemmas, emerging health pandemics, natural catastrophes, population explosions, and economic challenges around the globe.

Tayebwa added that increased investments in young people will equally have a ripple effect on productivity and, in turn, increase their purchasing power as opposed to spending billions of dollars on conflicts and arms.

As population experts argue that investing in the youth age group will guarantee a healthy and skilled human resource, more than 70 percent of Ugandan youths are unemployed; a situation the government is striving to reverse.

According to the World Bank, if the increase in the number of working-age individuals can be fully employed in productive activities, the level of average income per capita should increase as a direct impact, thus the youth bulge will become a demographic dividend.

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