By Ambrose Gahene
President Yoweri Museveni last Tuesday called upon youth to put on top prosperity; as a priority through trade and business, as opposed to donations.
President Museveni made the remarks while opening the 9th Commonwealth Youth Conference in Kampala last week. He cited an example of Regional integration for wider markets and encouraging investors, as some of the ways Government is trying to achieve prosperity.
He said the youth are an important demographic to the future of Africa and the world. He added that there is urgent need to synchronize on the minimum ideological base required to push us to that desired place.
“In my time as a youth leader, we dealt with colonialism, poor health, illiteracy, insecurity and human resource under development among others”, he said.
The President said in the case of Uganda; the statistics of how far we have come speaks for themselves, adding that; the youth leader of today has different challenges to deal with. “Thanks to the work some of us have done in the last years”, he added.
“Second is aligning education to the changing trends of the labour market. We have started a campaigning to convert our university graduate turnover into potential employers and not just employees, because there is not enough capacity to absorb them now”, he pointed out.
President Museveni called upon parents to pay much attention to parenting, stressing that; a lot of young people’s character and ability to cope with needs unique to their time, are shaped in childhood.
“I therefore challenge today’s youth leaders to identify the fundamental challenges of their time and devote their energies to resolving them”, he concluded.
According to Commonwealth sources; Leading universities around the world are joining a Commonwealth initiative aimed to improve access to certified courses in youth work.
“The Commonwealth Consortium of Higher Education Institutions for Youth Work will help aspiring or untrained youth workers to obtain a professional qualification.
The initiative will support 16 universities from Africa, Asia, the Caribbean and Europe to offer a low-cost, internationally recognized Commonwealth bachelor degree in youth development work. It is established by four partners: the Commonwealth Secretariat, the Commonwealth of Learning, the University of West Indies in Jamaica and YMCA George Williams College in the UK”, says the source.
Commonwealth Secretary-General Patricia Scotland said she was delighted to launch the consortium as she acknowledged and commended each of the partners. “This education initiative will help to build a new cadre of highly skilled and educated youth workers in Commonwealth countries, contributing to the growing professionalization of the youth work sector globally,” she said.
“The Commonwealth Bachelor Degree in Youth Development Work builds on a longstanding diploma-level qualification offered through the University of West Indies, which was first introduced in partnership with the Commonwealth Secretariat two decades ago”, adds the source.
Denise Richards; Programme Coordinator at the University of West Indies, predicted the consortium will attract students in communities that do not have access to quality tertiary level training and education programmes: “This has the potential to create and sustain an educated workforce and lifelong learning opportunities for advancement that would not be possible if individual institutions attempt to develop and offer all of the education and training programmes that are most needed in their country.”he said.
The agreement to establish the consortium was first made at the 19th Commonwealth Conference of Education Ministers in the Bahamas in June 2015. At the Commonwealth Youth Work Conference in March 2016, the consortium partners delivered a consultation which led to the 16 universities joining as members.