Dear Uganda Youths,
The theme for 2016’s International Youth Day is “The Road to 2030: Eradicating poverty and achieving sustainable consumption and production”. This theme is aimed towards achieving the “2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development” and discussing the leading role of young people in ensuring poverty eradication and achieving sustainable development through sustainable consumption and production.Sustainable consumption entails the use of products and services that meet the basic needs of communities while safeguarding the needs of future generations. It involves the development and promotion of individual choices and actions that increase the eco-efficiency of consumption of all and minimise waste and pollution and is critical to achieving equitable socioeconomic development.
As we celebrate International Youth Day, we would like to remind all Ugandan Youth of their relevance in the drive towards making not just Uganda but the world a better place not just for ourselves but for all generations to come after us. We would like to urge all Ugandan Youth to look beyond themselves, to be better than those who have come before us because at the end of it all, the little we decide to do or not to do, will either build or cripple the world we live in and our children and our children’s children will reap the fruits of the seeds we plant now or face the rot.
DO NOT to listen to those who think we cannot achieve Vision 2020; to turn Uganda into a middle income country by 2020. Naysayers are not visionary and are only bent towards seeing a weak and destitute Uganda, and have turned a blind eye to the energy and innovative capabilities of Uganda’s Youth. This energy and innovative capabilities have already placed Uganda as the most entrepreneurial country in the world.
Vision 2020 is achievable, and this achievement will be led by the Youth, not by the old guys in the offices driving big cars repeating the same old cry that youths should be job creators and not job seekers, while keeping themselves employed.
Of course everyone has a role in helping us achieve Vision 2020. For anyone that is not a youth, your job is to facilitate them to lead the realisation of this Vision 2020. This vision will be achieved by our innovation and entrepreneurship, as well as our persistence in realising it. As BarefootLaw, our role in this is to create access to justice for all because we believe that access to justice and the law is fundamental for a society to not only survive but to thrive.
Through our mSME garage, we ensure that the youth who start-up businesses are educated on how to lawfully run and manage these businesses, so that they can survive, and grow. To realize this, we have started up the mSME Garage, which offers free legal information and guidance for small businesses. You can check it out on this link www.msmegarage.org. So as a Youth, if you have any legal questions related to your business, please contact the mSME Garage.
Through the Women’s Property Rights Initiative (WPRI), we are giving rural communities information on human rights specifically those pertaining to women and property rights. By teaching rural communities, we are ensuring that as we look towards achieving Vision 2020, no one is left behind on any front, be it in matters regarding business or basic human rights.
As we conclude, we would like to talk a little about a video game called Pokemon Go, which is about walking around with your phone, looking for virtual “things”. This video game brought in 7.5 Billion US Dollars in just two weeks (for your information, Uganda’s GDP is about 27 billion US Dollars).
We should now ask ourselves, if a video game can do this in two days, sincerely, why can’t Uganda bring this in 4 years i.e by 2020?
To give you motivation on keeping that youthful drive for excellence going, here is a quote about Youth from one of the most inspirational poets of the last century, Khalil Gibran- (1883 – 1931).
“Youth is a beautiful dream, on whose brightness books shed a blinding dust. Will ever the day come when the wise link the joy of knowledge to youth’s dream? Will ever the day come when Nature becomes the teacher of man, humanity his book and life his school? Youth’s joyous purpose cannot be fulfilled until that day comes. Too slow is our march toward spiritual elevation, because we make so little use of youth’s ardour.”
HAPPY INTERNATIONAL YOUTH DAY!