Youth Empowerment: Solution For Uganda And Africa
President Obama interacts with South African students; youth empowerment is the key
In order to encourage a national debate on Uganda's problems and to explore solutions The Black Star News invites nationals to submit essays of reasonable length addressing the topic " Where Uganda is Today And The Changes We Need."
Uganda like any other African country has suffered from lack of enlightened leadership and a bad style of political and economic guidance.
During the past three decades, we have suffered lack of visionary and humane leaders committed to the welfare of their own people. The leaders we have today are still colonial products who have refused to change their ways.
They are blind.
They are corroborating students of the colonial administration whose philosophy and values govern the most independent African States.
The old rulers are blinded with material wealth and privileges associated with wealth and political power and have corrupted a small group of young elites who are in liaison with the rich old guard to continue exploiting the masses while ignoring the fate of the impoverished majority.
This leadership is characterized by opportunism, personal advancement and enrichment at the expense of the masses. Today, Uganda resembles a crumbling house from which both the owner and the onlookers move quickly to escape with whatever can be looted. The head of state enjoy immense political-and economic power and control, and indeed run the government as if it is his personal property.
We, the young and middle aged Ugandans have not been asking the right questions to understand the wrongs of the old age syndrome and thus, we are witnessing our country bleed to near death. How can a president claim to love his country as a head of state for three decades and fail to ensure that all people communicate using the same language?
The talk of patriotism is nonsense when a country is unable to communicate effectively with itself. This is a major obstacle to development, especially at this time of communication revolution. The inability to communicate effectively has disempowered people, given them an inferiority complex, killed their self-confidence and destroyed creative energy.
It has continued to minimize indigenous knowledge and expertise; it has made people everlasting students of the overvalued foreign ways of life and encouraged them to despise their own culture and values.
To stop our country’s hemorrhage by the old-age syndrome, people younger than me and the ones slightly older than me have to demand our rights. We don’t belong or fit in any of the current regime space.
We should not respect the manner in which we are being led. We should be eager to learn the best ways our generation could take control, influence our political, social and economic culture and start performing at the highest levels. Bush war hero bosses must allow us to find our purpose within this country and the freedom to discover the opportunities for them in retirement.
As young and middle aged people we are socially conscious and responsible, and won’t abuse the power because we still have many years to live. We want old anti-colonial and bush war heroes to share their wisdom in the form of storytelling, not policy making.
Let them allow us to control the pace of our country’s development at our comfort level and responsibilities. Let them stop defining our identity as the generation that never saw bloodshed. Let them stop referring us to Marshal Idi Amin and Dr. Milton Obote’s leadership. Please, let us be our own brand.
They must stop thinking that they understand us, when they don’t.
Stop boxing us in a corner.
Stretch our thinking and put us to the test by retiring and handing over power to us. We are comfortable with change and will serve as your greatest talent. We don’t want favors and the easy way out to be accepted.
We just want you to realize that everyone is important and should be treated equally. As young and middle aged Ugandans, we must make our choice or others, less sympathetic, will make that choice for us.
The author is a 33 year old independent consultant. He holds a Master of Arts degree from the University of Cincinnati, USA.
Please send your own submission to firstname.lastname@example.org Feel free to send a photo headshot of high resolution quality.