Youth Ambassadors Unveiled

Published By UNNGOF |  January 25, 2016

Wednesday, 13th January 2016 marked a new beginning in the youth discussion as young people interacted with their ambassadors to promote their own manifesto. These were not the official ambassadors as set in government public administrative offices, but entertainment icons that young people follow and look up to. These included Fille, Vampino, Micheal Ross, Irene Ntale and Santana. The five ambassadors will be representing the 5 key issues raised by the youth in their manifesto for 2016 and beyond; Sports and Creative Arts; Health; Education; Participation; and Jobs

The unveiling of these ambassadors was held at Sheraton Hotel Lions Center and organized by the Youth Coalition on Electoral Democracy in partnership with Twaweza East Africa. This also marked the launch of the “YouthFesto16 campaign”.  The launch also took the form of a 40 minute panel discussion with representatives of NRM and GO-FORWARD moderated by Simon Kasyate and Sheilla Nduhukire on how Youth Manifesto 2016-2021 that was broadcast live on NTV and Galaxy FM is being prioritized. This event was a precursor to a series of thematic debates that will run from Sunday 17th January – February 14th, 2016.

While access to education has increased, there is need to improve quality of public education,” said Irene Ntale the Education Ambassador.

The Youth Coalition for Electoral Democracy in Uganda (YCED), in partnership with Twaweza East Africa is conducting a series of debates on political parties’ prioritization of youth issues in the 2016 general elections in Uganda.  One of the members of the YCED leadership; Ahmed Hadji indicated that the purpose of these debates is to ensure that youth issues are captured in candidates’ and party manifestos as well as in the campaign commitments.

The debates will specifically focus on; Creating awareness on youth demands in the National Youth Manifesto for inclusion in the party manifestos; Empowering youth citizens to make informed choices in the 2016 general elections; Providing a platform for youth to present their concerns through asking questions and getting responses from candidates.

The debates, between the representatives of the leading contenders in the 2016 presidential race namely NRM-O, Go Forward, and FDC, will be televised live on NTV and will attract wide participation of the youth citizenry with an attendance of 300 youth.

The two representatives from NRM and GO-FORWARD; Mary Mutesi and Ambassador Edith Ssempala respectively presented their aspirations for the youth as per their party manifestos.

“The NRM party has put in place structures from the local levels to ensure youth participation in democracy,” Mutesi indicated.

During the debate however, youth were concerned that the youth engagement as Crime Preventers was meaningful participation as implemented by the NRM government.

Young people should demand the disbanding of the crime preventers as they poses a threat for violence during and after elections,” said Amb. Ssempala.

It is envisioned that during these debates, candidates and political parties will have an understanding on what the youth of Uganda expect from them when elected into office in 2016 and beyond.

We have heard enough of ‘Youth have the numbers’, So what?” Sheila asked the youth as she concluded the debate moderation that left youth reflecting on their position in the governance and democracy of Uganda.