Youth urged to be innovative to create jobs

Students in higher institutions of learning have been urged to prioritize innovations that will facilitate the creation of jobs.

The plea was made by Deputy Speaker Thomas Tayebwa during the Youth and Innovation Expo 2023, under the theme: “Fostering Innovation for Uganda’s Transformational Development” hosted recently at Makerere University.

The event funded by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and MTN Uganda saw more than 300 youth exhibit their new innovations and enterprises with a focus on exploring avenues for commercializing these innovations.

Tayebwa said that many youths spend more time complaining about the existing policies rather than sparing time to think about innovations that can help them change their lives.

He hailed UNDP for giving youth the opportunity to exhibit their innovations.  He added that the onus is on the youth to engage in innovation rather than becoming part of what he termed the “complaining group”.

Massimiliano Mazzanti, the ambassador of Italy to Uganda, Rwanda, and Burundi said that he was impressed with the innovations of the youth in Uganda who contribute the biggest percentage of the population.

“The number of youth in Uganda is very critical because 70 percent of the population is below 30 years which explains the labor force and need for job creation. One we have to make our donations, and donor projects match the national plans of Uganda,” he said.

Makerere University Vice Chancellor, Professor Barnabas Nawangwe said that Makerere resolved to empower research and innovation to help students create jobs of their own and subsequently help in fighting unemployment.

Godfrey Sengozi displayed how to use eggshell waste and sand to make wall and floor tiles.  He said that he developed the innovation as his final year project and has since established a company that currently produces more than 200 tiles a day.

Jacob Eyeru, the Chairperson of the National Youth Council asked the government to create a conducive environment for youth innovators by protecting them from competing directly with big companies in the bidding processes.

Makerere University Guild President, Robert Maseruka asked students not to limit themselves to specific types of innovations based on gender. He urged them to seize all opportunities, regardless of their nature, as they navigate the path to innovation and entrepreneurship.

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