President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni has exhorted young leaders to engage in wealth generating initiatives in order to improve their living conditions.
“My emphasis is that all the youth, even those who are still growing up with their parents, should get involved in wealth creation because many of the problems I have seen in the last more than 70 years have been among children who did not have wealth creation as part of their culture, and it’s very dangerous,” President Museveni said.
The President made the statements yesterday, August 16, 2023, at State House-Entebbe, when meeting with National Youth Council officials led by their chairperson, Mr. Jacob Eyeru.
H.E Museveni indicated that the National Resistance Army (NRA) was able to fight and win the long-running war (1981-1986) because it had a strong base of economic development.
“When you get the chance, whether you’re educated or not, put yourself somewhere in wealth creation,” he remarked.
“The sources of wealth are well established. This is something I’ve always talked about. One is commercial agriculture, which I’m delighted many of you are discussing. You want to be role models for farmers, and you want me to assist you. The following industry is manufacturing or processing. I was relieved to hear someone from Busoga mention maize milling since that signifies you’ve already moved on to manufacturing. And you may form groups here. The third sector is services such as transportation and hospitality, and the fourth sector is ICT.”
The President also warned the youth leaders not to be seduced by leadership, sectarianism, and identity politics. H.E Museveni reminded the young that leadership is not a permanent position and that they should avoid becoming “professional” leaders who believe they will perish if they do not have leadership.
“As freedom fighters, we are volunteers who helped to stabilize an unstable country.” What is happening in some African countries, such as Niger, Mali, Burkina Faso, Central African Republic, Congo, Sudan, and Somalia, is visible. “I don’t think those people are stupid, but they had a problem getting the diagnosis right,” he said emphatically.
“Politics is like medicine; if the wrong diagnosis is given, the patient will die.” That is exactly what is going on in those countries. The NRM here made an accurate diagnosis. Some of your elders were telling us about tribes and religion (sectarianism). For us, that was a misdiagnosis. Our solution was to fix people’s concerns regardless of ethnicity or creed. That is how we differed from groups that emphasized identity politics; we emphasized interests.”
Concerning the World Bank’s decision to suspend loans to Uganda, President Museveni reiterated that the country does not require financial aid from the organization, claiming that it can sustain its economy.
“We don’t need that money because the private sector does the majority of the work in Uganda, and they are the ones who support us.” Agriculture (farmers) and manufacturing support our country, allowing us to support ourselves. “The one for the World Bank helps on a few roads, but the majority of the roads are built with our own money,” he explained.
The President also encouraged youth leaders to take use of government programs such as Emyooga to help them grow.
“If you need us to put more money in, we will,” he replied.
The youth leaders, on their part, commended President Museveni for his visionary leadership, which has enabled them to have a fair share of the national cake.
They also asked him to keep supporting youth programs across the country.
The President met with youth leaders ahead of the International Youth Day celebrations.
Hon. Sarah Nyirabashitsi Mateke, Minister of State for Youth and Children Affairs, also attended the meeting.