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Through the Youth4Policy Fellowship, young professionals are supported to develop feasible and custom-tailored policies to address some of the policy gaps in Uganda. The programme, which is implemented in partnership with the Public Policy Institute (PPI) and the Centre for Development Alternatives (CDA), aims at presenting our fellows with a platform to advocate for their policy suggestions among institutions involved in the policy-making processes in the country.
The fellows were received by Hon. Esther Mbayo, Minister of the Presidency on the 11th of April 2019. Emmanuel Kitamirike, Executive Director of the Public Policy Institute (PPI), presented the Youth4Policy programme, emphasizing the necessity of policy research carried out by the young generation. Outlining the precarious situation of youths in Uganda, he argued that young professionals and their research should receive wider consideration in the processes of policy-formulation. While this would contribute to improved mutual understanding of government officials and the youths, it strengthens the capacity of research and policy work in Uganda.
Three of our recently graduated fellows subsequently presented their research outcomes and shared their policy proposals.
Annet Mbabazi devoted herself to researching endemic corruption in Uganda’s public sector. She argued that the lack of implementing anticorruption sanctions and recommendations undermines anticorruption efforts and enhances impunity. To address endemic corruption, she contends, there is need to review ambiguities in the legislative framework as well as to implement follow-up mechanisms at the Office of the Inspector General of Government.
Dorcas Okello explored the efficiency of youth unemployment schemes, especially the existing Youth Livelihood Programme. Here, she unravelled underlying dynamics of group formation which impede the programme’s outcomes. Consequently, she argued in favour of strengthening mechanisms to sensitise and link group members with regard to interests, group cohesion and meta-reflection.
Benjamin Rukwenje focused his research scope on identifying correlations between youth unemployment and the Ugandan education system. He found a mismatch between graduates’ skillsets and employers’ demands in the private sector, which can be traced back to insufficient acquisition of soft skills in the Ugandan education system. His solution to combat high youth unemployment therefore proposes changes to testable output in the education system, for instance, by promoting critical thinking, problem solving and communication skills.
The research findings and policy proposals were well-received and discussed by the Honourable Minister. Congratulating the group on their achievements, she encouraged them to engage further with Government Ministries to share the outcomes of the fellowship. Upon sharing further policy concerns which she would like to see addressed in the near future, she additionally called on parents to encourage an entrepreneurial and disciplined mind-set in their children to prepare them for participating in an active and developing society.