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Museveni Urges Youth to Join Wealth Creation, Money Economy

“Before you see individual trees, its good to see the forest so that you don’t get lost, so that you are clear about where you are going”, this was President Yoweri Museveni anecdote advise to the UN Youth under the Coalition for Sustainable Development Goals (SDGS) at a meeting he held with them recently at State House Entebbe.
The youth coalition for SDGS, composed of 25 youth led organisations from around the country, working towards achieving sustainable development goals. They were led by H.E Rosa Malango, the UN Resident Coordinator in Uganda.
“You are just talking about two things in many words. You are talking about wealth and jobs. In trying to answer these questions: where will wealth and jobs come from… I know the addresses of both. They are found in four sectors,” the President said.
He cited the four sectors including; Commercial Agriculture, Industrialization, Services sector, ICT and Government.
“The biggest problem…you may find that your parents are still in the non-money economy… in subsistence agriculture just working for the stomach. They have land and water but working for only eating and also not eating well,” he said.
According to the President, in 1969, 96 % of Ugandans were working only for stomach but by 2014 figure had gone down to 68% giving an example in western Uganda where communities have adopted practices for food and income security.
“You are innovators, but it may be good if you are also imitators. Even if you copied what somebody did and did it well, you go a long way. You can persuade all the people you know to join the money economy and the easiest for rural people is commercial agriculture. Don’t have land which you are not using,” he said.
Mr. Museveni said the problem for many African societies is that they are still in pri-capitalism society.
“That is the biggest problem, certainly not poverty. They are not poor but they suffer from moneylessness. They just don’t know how to make money. People have land but not using it fully. That’s why we say everybody must work for the stomach but also for money,” he said.
President Museveni said because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the economy has gone down but agriculture is continuing because people have not stopped eating and still demand other basic needs like food, shelter, clothing, housing transport, energy etc.
Citing the services sector, President Museveni said there is potential in the services sector for jobs and wealth.
“Am a farmer, when you see me here don’t think am unemployed am a farmer. I can produce milk for you beef, skins/cowhides, bananas etc. My girl here from Otuke can now own a factory to process the milk I have produced. Those are our two roles. I produce raw materials she processes them. There is also a third person who is neither in agriculture nor industry…Bobi Wine. He sings. I don’t eat a song but the song relaxes me. I have not eaten anything but am happy. Bobi wine is providing an entertainment service. You have hotels which serve food but they don’t produce that food. You have tourism….you don’t eat our buffalos, but you look at them and go back. Some of the solutions are in the services,” he said.
President Museveni also singled out a young entrepreneur Odongo Solomon who he says helps diaspora who have earned their money. “This one has not earned money but he is clever. He helps diaspora invest their money. Provides advisory and consultancy services,” he said.
The President urged the youth to have a mindset change and go from white collar to skills acquisition. He called on the youth to fight environmental degradation and promote profitable and sustainable use of wetlands.
The Minister in Charge of General Duties in the Office of the Prime Minister Hon. Mary Busingye Karooro Okurut congratulated President Museveni and the people of Uganda for the well-deserved victory.
“They say people who have nothing to say write on water, some of our people write on water. People who were saying the youth don’t support Museveni were a fallacy. All the five youth seats were swept by the NRM. Even the youth of the SDG coalition are part of the success story of NRM. Everything that goes right or wrong depends on leadership. Your leadership is well documented that is why we are seeing what we are seeing. If it was wrong we cound have crumbled,” she said.
The meeting was also attended by The UN Youth SDGs coalition group mentors Samson Kasumba and Victor Ochen and UN staff
The Youth Coalition for SDGs, comprised of over 20 youth organizations, was formed during preparation for the UN and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Awareness Month held in October 2019. The youth organizations, which are actively involved in contributing to achieving the SDGs, are brought together under the auspices of the National SDG Secretariat within the Office of the Prime Minister with support from the UN Resident Coordinator in mentoring members of the Youth Coalition for SDGs.

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