By Kabuye Ronald
In abide to build capacity for youths to be able to part of the national delegations which represent Uganda and Africa at the United Nations, the United Nations Association of Uganda UNAU has commenced five days training for the 20 best selected youths out of 500 to empower them with the required knowledge.
While opening the African United Nations Youth Delegate Program (AUNYD), Richard Baguma Tinkasimire, the UNAU Secretary General said that the objective of the program is to get the voices of the young people who constitute the largest population in Africa into policy and decision making at the United Nations, regional and national level.
Baguma says that they want to see among the trainees who can be equipped to work at the national level as agents of the mindset change but can also intervene at household level to fight poverty within the context of national development but also the Sustainable Development Goals SDGs. Adding that they also want to equip them and facility them to go with the government delegation to the United Nations general assembly in the New York so they can increase voices of the young Africans at the United Nations.
“When you get the young people and equip them with the confidence, skills, abilities and mindset change they can actually conqueror things beyond Uganda and bring advantage to our country. We hope that from these cohorts and other more than 1000 we have been training and empowering we can see many international civil servants, business people and seculars coming from Uganda contributing strongly but also participating in the development and management of Uganda and Eastern Africa where they come from.” Said Baguma
Baguma also emphasized that they don’t influence the priorities of the youths but they only create safe facilitated spaces where the youths can discuss their own priorities and agenda and then they help them get their voice to the highest organs of the United Nations and in their countries.
The youths that are attending the program said that it is going to empower them amplify the concerns of the youths at the national, regional, continental and United Nation level.
“This training is giving us meaningful participation and inclusion at the policy level since those that made it to this training competed among the 500 applicants and they qualified in a transparent process and so I believe that those who will represent us at the United Nations in New York will bring out the gist of the youth agenda at the highest making policy level and thus a clear representation of the 70% of population who are youths.” Said Musinguzi Laban Joshua, the president of the youth coalition for Sustainable Development Goals
“Am looking forward to learning diplomacy, advocacy and solving problems of Uganda, East Africa and Africa at large especially amongst youths like poverty, education and unemployment. If we really want to succeed with the Sustainable Development Goal we need to first solve the poverty issue since it inter connected.” Said Kalungi Joel Kalule, a law student at Makerere University
“Am so happy and privileged to be part of this program and am looking forward to attaining the training and the skills required of us to go out and just not only create change within our societies but also influence policy change at national, continental and international levels. Am also looking forward to learn how to develop projects, mobilize resources, partner and cooperate with each other to see that we advance the needs and requirements needed to solve the problems of the young people.” Said Julia Muhumuza one of the youth delegates.