“You need to market yourself as youth leaders” – Prof. Yasin Olum

KONRAD ADENAUER STIFTUNG (KAS) organized together with the NATIONAL YOUTH COUNCIL (NYC) a Training of Youth Leaders from Ankole Sub Region in Mbarara

In the 2016 election, the youth constituted almost half of Uganda's voting population, many of whom actively participated in campaigns and voting. Despite the existence of legal frameworks, women's participation in these general elections still remained low and, when elected into office, female leaders oftentimes are unaware of their duties and responsibilities. Mainly young female leaders from Ankole Sub Region came together to attend the training on issues such as women in political processes, accountability, civic responsibility and empowerment

The National Youth Council (NYC) “is an umbrella organisation of all youth in Uganda and is mandated to Organize, Mobilize and engage youth in development activities as well as protect them from any kind of manipulation.” The first female chairperson of NYC, Lilian Aber, emphasized the young leaders about the operations of NYC and the mandate of secretaries for female affairs. She talked about the importance of working together as a team and the support of female youth leaders in their districts. “We need to work together and grow partnerships. We need to support female affairs together.”

Prof. Yasin Olum from Makerere University was the main facilitator of this training. He discussed with the participant’s topics and questions like; what it means to be accountable and ethical, how can we empower and how can women be supported? Which roles have youth Leaders? What challenges do the youth face in politics in Uganda and which solutions do we have? Answers to the given questions among others were dealt with in small groups and presented in front of the whole audience.
The youth leaders pointed especially weak political leadership, lack of enabling environment and the lack of given resources for enforcement out as challenges of enforcing accountability and ethics.
Prof. Olum explained strategies to address the given challenges for instance “should citizens and civil society organisations increase their effort to cause leaders in all institutions to account, foster and promote enabling conditions of service to enhance professional and ethical standards? ”

Mr. Simon Opoka facilitated about Team-Building to enhance the roles of female youth leaders in a council executive committee. “Your first step to a discussion is your access and action to bring youth and especially ladies to the table. If your youth in the district are not empowered, you are part of the blame” he mentioned.

One participant argued “Women emancipation has been a challenge; we have been lacking in encouraging women to join leadership. There is more work that we can do to encourage women to take leadership. Your women in the district should be taught to take over leadership”- Moses. Another youth leader called Rose summarized at the end of the training that “all the things we have discussed the need to be put into practice now. Let this knowledge we have achieved help and guide others and continue with it. We go back and sensitives our people”

Prof. Olum encouraged the youth leaders from Ankole Sub Region in general: “what you do today can market you tomorrow, you need to market yourself as youth leaders.” Moreover, he emphasized that “a good leader shares the visions and enables others to act and encourages young people.”

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