Ms. Regina Bafaki, ACFODE Executive Director giving her opening remarks.
The much anticipated Youth Intergenerational Dialogue 2017 was received with such prolificeagerness from both the young and old. The dialogue themed, “Harnessing the Demographic Divide to enhance Youth Participation and Gender Equality,’ took place on the 17th August at Golden Tulip Canaan Hotel in Kampala.
By simply looking at the audience one could not help but marvel at the beaming and enthusiastic faces of both young and old men and women who concentrated the venue.
In her opening remarks, Ms. Regina Bafaki, the Executive Director, Action for Development, pointed out thatthe youth are the category of citizens that the country backs on for growth. She therefore hoped that the dialogue would create a permanent impact of transforming them so as to make Uganda a country to love and to live in. She added thatgender equality is a journey that requires commitment and passion.
This event was also characterized by a panel of discussion by eminent men and women from different mediums which added the much needed color. During the discussion Dr. Hilda Tadria, a founding member of ACFODE asked the audience what they were doing about the women movement.
“With me, I am mentoring because I want to make sure that male privileges are also allowed to women.”
This statement challenged the youth who later in their ‘conversation circles’ discussed on how they would contribute to governance especially on issues of women and gender mainstreaming.
It would be very unfair not to mention some of the other topics deliberated on in the conversation circles. The topics discussed were namely; Governance and Leadership; Gender Based Violence, Entrepreneurship as well as Media & ICT.
Some of the arising issues in these circles were; the need for gender equality and women movements through using the media as a whistle blower, it was noted that youth participation was very scanty in areas of politics and democracy due to commercialization and sexual harassment. The youth also noted that it was imperative to mainstream and digitalize documentation of business in order to thrive among others.
Mr Emmanuel Kitamirike delivers his presentation
In his key note address on“Youth participation in promotion of Gender equality and Governance, Global and National Perspectives,” Mr. Emmanuel Kitamarike, a youth activist, challenged the youth to take advantage of their numbers.
“There is an immense potential in numbers and beyond these numbers young people are innovative, enthusiastic and creative. More so in this country, we have a robust and clear legal frame work for youth participation,” he added.
The youth were also informed that participation of youth (both female and male youths) in democracy and governance processes is institutionalized in legal and policy frameworks. The 1995 Constitution has enabling provisions that encourage equal participation of different citizen groups in leadership.
The panel discussion (L-R) Dr Hilda Tadria, Ms Penelope Sanyu, Mr Jacob Eyeru
The 2014 National Housing and Population Census results indicate that the country’s population currently stands at 35 million and that 50% of this population is below 15 years of age.
Despite their numbers, and the enabling legal and policy environment the lives of young people in Uganda are marred by poverty, inadequate education and skills, exploitation, unemployment and low representation in positions of political leadership. The older generation therefore needs to share their successes, challenges and the opportunities that exist for youth.
The entrepreneurship circle engaging in a discussion
In his closing remarks Mr. Mathias Kamp, KAS country representative acknowledged that the day was very useful and youthful at the same time since it brought together two important strings that KAS prides in; ‘linking the empowerment of the youth and empowerment of women.’ He called upon the youth to carry forward the discussions on gender, governance, leadership and gender mainstreaming among their peers.
Mr Mathias Kamp, KAS country representative giving his remarks.
“I wonder whether the young people feel their own importance. We have put a lot of effort in initiatives that further the youth somewhere,” concluded Mathias.
By: Olive Nazziwa
Public Relations & Communications Department