KAMPALA, UGANDA: President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni has advised Uganda’s youths to emulate his political arch-rival Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu alias Bobi Wine by involving themselves in money-making ventures to create wealth.
Museveni made these comments to the United Nations (UN) Youth under the Coalition for Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at a meeting he held with them this week at State House Entebbe.
The youth coalition for SDGs is composed of 25 youth-led organizations from around the country, which are working towards achieving sustainable development goals. These 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.
Museveni cited the four sectors; Commercial Agriculture, Industrialization, the Services sector, ICT, and Government.
“The biggest problem (is that) 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,” the President said.
According to President Museveni, in 1969, 96 % of Ugandans were working only for stomach but by 2014, the figure had gone down to 68%. The President gave an example in western Uganda where communities have adopted commercial agriculture 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,” President Museveni said.
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, The President said there is potential in the services sector for jobs and wealth.
“I am a farmer, when you see me here don’t think am unemployed. I 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 that 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 the 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 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.