Parliament has approved the new Ugx.265 billion youth venture fund, a five-year development programme that seeks to combat poverty and unemployment among the youth.
In a report presented by the Budget Committee Chairperson, Mr. Tim Lwanga, the government relocated Ugx.19.5 billion from Ministry of Finance to Ministry of Gender which is going to manage the project for the next five years. The allocation of Ugx.19.5 billion is meant to kick-start the project this financial year.
The beneficiary youths will be organised under Youth Interest Groups (YIGs), or as individual youths, and will be the nucleus of the programme, Mr. Lwanga said in his report to Parliament.
At the local government level, the Budget Committee chairperson said, “The LC1 chairpersons shall have the role to provide guidance and qualification of YIGs and individual youths willing to participate the programme”.
The money in question was moved from Graduate Youth Venture Capital Fund and Youth Venture Capital Fund to finance the Youth Livelihood Programme (YLP). The project seeks to enable the jobless youth develop social, economic and cultural skills and enhance their participation in the National Development Plan.
The YLP is a creation of Mr Pius Bigirimana, the new permanent secretary in the Gender ministry. Mr Bigirimana has since said the money will empower the groups economically through projects such as farming and carpentry.
Members of the Budget Committee said the Ministry of Gender officials told them that the livelihoods programme would be implemented in all 112 districts covering both the educated and uneducated.
Under the project, each interest group project will be financed to a tune of Ugx12.5million.
While Mr. Bigirimana told the National Youth Council in Mukono District that the money will be interest free and no collateral will be required. He said the funds would be channelled directly to the beneficiaries and will be monitored by Gender ministry and the Office of the Inspector General of Government to ensure accountability.
Speaking at the International Youth Day cerebrations in Mukono last month, President Museveni said money is available and promised to support the proposed programme developed by Mr. Bigirimana whom he praised as “an asset” for the young people.
In commending Mr Bigirimana for drafting the five-year anti-poverty project for the jobless youth, Mr Museveni said the young people have “better eyes’’
Source: Uganda dailies