The lives of millions of Ugandan Youth are marred by poverty, inadequate education and skills, inadequate work/employment opportunities, exploitation, diseases, civil unrest and gender discrimination. The environment they live in brings both new possibilities and new risks that undermine the traditional social support that helps the Youth prepare for, negotiate and explore the opportunities and demands of their passage to adulthood.
Given this situation, investment in Youth is not only a social obligation but also rewarding in economic sense. This is because the Youth are the country's most valuable asset, are an integral component of the development process and they provide for and safeguard the future of the nation. This calls for all stakeholders to make a concerted effort to plan, implement, monitor, evaluate and strengthen activities of the Youth; with the Youth.
This policy has been developed as a step forward to invest in the Youth. It provides an operational framework to all the actors with a set of realistic guidelines from which action programmes and services can be developed to facilitate meaningful involvement of Youth in national development efforts and to respond to their various needs and problems. The process of developing this policy has been consultative, participatory and inclusive in terms of the involvement of key stakeholders and has been spearheaded by the Department of Youth and Children Affairs, Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development, with diligent support from the National Youth Policy Task Force. Their special roles and efforts are recognised and appreciated.
The vision and sets of actions contained in this document gives me a strong inspiration to wait for that moment when all Youth of Uganda are nurtured, protected, educated, equipped with skills and economically,politically and socially empowered. I long to see them gainfully employed and actively participating in the development of the country. I therefore call on all the stakeholders to constantly use and refer to this policy document as a source of strength and inspiration for advancing the youth of Uganda in the 21st century.