Why youth should celebrate the 36 years of NRM

On January 26, 2022, the National Resistance Movement led by President Yoweri Museveni celebrated 36 years since it assumed leadership of the country. The journey, despite its challenges has been fruitful for the youth. Youth Blitz looks at some of the achievements the NRM has registered that have helped uplift the youth in the social, political and economic sectors.


One of the areas where the NRM governance has impacted the youth is education.

The introduction of Universal Primary Education in 1997 and Universal Secondary Education in 2008 was a game changer in as far as uplifting the social status of the youth is concerned. A greater number of young people are now literate and are therefore better able to contribute to the national development of the country. Enrollment into schools went up seven fold in 1997 following the introduction of UPE.

A report released by the National Planning Authority in 2019 about the impact of UPE revealed that its impact had been felt at household level with households reporting increase in income as a result of having more people who could find jobs.

At post secondary level, government has set up a number of public universities in addition to Makerere University, where youth acquire knowledge and skills.

In 1989, three years after assuming power, the NRM initiated a policy where every young girl was added an extra 1.5 points to enable them go to university. Many young women have been beneficiaries of this policy and some are thriving.

Economic status

The NRM has launched a number of initiatives aimed at uplifting the economic status of the youth. One of them is the Youth Livelihood Programme which was funded to a tune of Shs 265 billion. The Fund targeted youth between the ages of 18 and 35 and many of the beneficiaries reported success.

For instance, a number of youth were able to start various small income generating projects like poultry keeping, welding workshops and mechanical garages where they made some money.


Youth today are represented at all levels of the country’s political structures. From the grassroots to national level. Currently, the youth have five representatives in Parliament, the body that makes laws.

In addition, the president has regularly appointed young people to cabinet.

The youths also have a dedicated ministry (The Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development).


The NRM government has put a lot of emphasis on sports, an area dominated by young people. The construction of facilities like Namboole stadium, which was opened in 1998 and government’s continuous funding of the sector have given rise to a number of youthful sports stars. These include athletes like Joshua Cheptegei, Jacob Kiplimo and before them Dorcus Inzikuru. The national soccer team, Uganda Cranes, also qualified for the Africa Cup of Nations in 2017 after 39 years this being largely due to the increased investment in sport.

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