I enter a room with four black chairs being a table with Blue wave water bottle with a glass on the table. The back ground cloth bares Uganda Media centre logo with a Ugandan flag to the left and the East African Flag to the right!
An hour before, I was sipping my breakfast at the National Theater when I received a reminder sms that read “A briefing by Hon Ronald Kibuule about youth day celebrations and issues about youth today at 8/08/2012 at 10:00 am at UMC”
“Ask about our money” my friend Irene said to me before I left to walk for the Uganda Media Centre offices along clement hill road. Self Note (… much us “it’s our money” it’s a loan which has to be paid back ha!)
I knew it was a kind of press briefing I would want to attend because I haven’t yet had a nice encounter with the dear Hon. Ronald Kibuule since I got to hear of his name… for every attempt I have made to meet him has been to failure. He is always attending business in Kenya, at least that what the front desks always tell me. This always leaves me to meet the chubby, gentle, Mondo Kyateka, the Commissioner of Youth and Children who is always waiting for communication from his boss, the minister.
At 10:15, the Commissioner walked in from the front entrance of the press briefing and disappeared through the collider to Fred Opolots Office, the Director of UMC. Self Note (i wonder if it’s a syndrome that these politicians never come to meetings on time. One day when they need us we will also not be there…maybe next time)
I wonder what the youth day represents to the minister looking at the over 70% young people are unemployed, which constitutes over 60% of Uganda’s population
At 10:19, Fred Opolot made the entrance with Hon Ronald and his commissioner, Mr. Mondo Kyateka. At 10:20, Hon. Ronald Kibuule thanked his friends the media… Self Note (I am now having second thoughts about the meaning of “friends”) …and stated reading his press statement
“Today Sunday 12th August 2012, Uganda joins the rest of the world to mark the International Day” Self Note (Today is 8:08:2012, a sunny Tuesday morning and its not the youth day yet! So I guess that is a typo which he doesn’t seem to notice and he reads on…)
“This day is marked annually by member countries of the United Nations following the 1999 UN general assembly resolution that approved the 1998 recommendation by the ministers in charge of youth that 12th August should be celebrated annually as international youth day”
The Pan Africanist in me kept on boiling for all the quotes didn’t make any relevance to me, as an individual, Ugandan, Young person and Unemployed. Whereas youth have to celebrate, I think it more relevant to create our own days that are in line of African strategic planning…and remembering that this assembly didn’t take place in Africa. It got be inching my skin (don’t judge me:))
He added that “Whereas the international theme for 2012 is “Building a Better World Partnering with you” the government of Uganda adopted the theme “Entrepreneurship skills: a cornerstone for youth employment creation”
I now do agree with this theme but I find it too ambitious for so far what Honorable and his ministry what they have proved to relate issues related in the government projects that target youths. Self Note (The youth fund which was a venture capital for the young ideas and innovations was poorly managed from the start, where even the Minister had no information about a project he supposedly manages)
When my hand was picked for a question, I introduced myself as his fan. He smiled keenly! At least I had his attention.
“Honorable, you mentioned youth day as an international celebration, Looking at the level of unemployment rate in Uganda, the government projects targeting young people that are still crawling or in my opinion wanting to meet the numbers of affected persons, Is Uganda proud to celebrate or is this another government expenditure as young people’s needs remain unmet?
“A journey of a thousand Hills starts with one step” Said Hon. Ronald K. Self Note (almost thought he was talking about Rwanda but hey...I have to concentrate, it’s an idiom. So are we starting off our step with celebrations?)
He responded with a narrative about a bodaboda man in his constituency Mukono district who sold his piece of land to buy a Moto Bike and also a group of young people who presented a proposal to the president’s office with their interest to travel to china to learn modern agricultural practice
“Such young people, I don’t understand …and then they say I am the one blocking their opportunities” but I didn’t find his remarks relevant to the questioned I asked him.
He then talked about how politicizing of all issues has been a challenge to the projects implemented, the strikes, Besigye’s walk to work among others which steals time from young people as even those who claim to ask about the youth fund have never entered a bank. Self note (I have entered it Honorable and its now 2 months they say my form is being reviewed. And My be Walk to work in an alternative source of income Hon. How about that?)
To save the day, Mondo Kyateka clarified that the day is for not just celebrations but reviewing, redefining their strategy to answer young people’s issues and work out a best way forward.
He also added that the youth fund is not the only project that young people should look out for but there are other projects like NAADS (to which we all know corruption is not its only secret friend) among others that young people can participate in to have their means to ends… Self Note (There is a lot for the Ministry of state for Youth and Children to prove that their projects are affecting any Ugandan Young person because what a coincident that none in my circles even my other journalists friends has heard of one who has successfully received a youth fund as well as any benefit from the different projects that have been implemented as a capital venture fund)
As those with small business to prove their securities to get some money, the graduates who have only a certificate to prove their worth are still not yet given a green light if they will be benefiting from the now remaining 16 billion shillings of the Youth Fund. Self Note (Though the minister says they are still discussion it, you and I know what this team means…by the time they agree…there will be no 16 billion to collect!)
You have all been invited to Kabale Municipal Stadium for the National Celebrations, which will be presided over by H.E President Yoweri K Museveni on 12th August 2012 starting at 8:00am For God and My country n a green light if they will be benefiting from the now remaining 16 billion shillings of the Youth Fund. Self Note (Though the minister says they are still discussion it, you and I know what this team means…by the time they agree…there will be no 16 billion to collect!)
I hope the youth of Mbale do make sense out of what the president will tell them about what his country is doing or planning for their well being!
You have all been invited to Kabale Municipal Stadium for the National Celebrations, which will be presided over by H.E President Yoweri K Museveni on 12th August 2012 starting at 8:00am
For God and My country
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