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Soaring number of NEETs welcome Hon Balaam Barugahara as minister of state for children and youth affairs

By  Mulihi Bumali

I do once again send my congratulations as you start your work as a minister.

The report by National Planning Authority 2023 indicated that 41% of our young people are neither in employment, nor education or training (NEETs) implying that the youth bulge is inevitable unless concrete and deliberate strategic actions are taken.

The NRM government has over the years committed resources towards numerous initiatives and programs all geared to arrest the every soaring numbers of NEETs in the country given its young population however less has been yielded because the prospective beneficiaries and implementer in parallel lanes hence sparsely populated TVETs are not news, concentration of young empowerment programs in Urban areas and cities.

Regional industrial parks continue to establish across the country and the need for quality skilled and mentored young people is key for optimal economic and social returns however reading the study by Ramathan Ggoobi (skills for industry Oct 2021) cements that more work must be done.

Those with skills are not in employment while prospective students are not in education and training centres hence causing a puzzle that can be tackled with collective efforts from all stakeholders through Graduate support services/Career exploration and decision making techniques offered by Ms Namare Noame Baketunga and organizations like Pamoja careers Services can cause a big difference once their works are supported to up scaled.

Programs like Parish development model and emyoga and other government interventions will not slump the NEETs challenge as preached by several government officials because without skilled and mentored youth such programs are a mirage in addressing the status like efforts before.

Many policies and programs have not catalyzed reduction of NEETs because the information flow is not seamless since other most stakeholders haven’t been involved in information flow. However with your contacts and expertize from the business and humanitarian sphere once will prioritize information flow about youth empowerment programs and initiatives by both the state and non-state actors because you clearly understand that millions of young people in Uganda continue to endure a lot in order to dare and dream of a better tomorrow characterized by low unemployment rates, access to capital, skilling, reskilling and up skilling opportunities.

I request you maintain the open door policy to all stakeholders both public and private so that the information flow gaps are effectively tightened because this will enable more young people to access tailored services hence greatly slumping the NEETs population leading to high probability of achieving a demographic dividend. Hoping to see career education barazas organized soon in our areas as one way of sharing information with the NEETs about available opportunities both at local and international level.

 Mulihi Bumali

X handle:@mulihiB

TVET Champion

Pamoja Careers Services

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