Call it a big coincidence that the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM), which we all know was appointed by the Government as the SDGs Secretariat is today the same lead in the COVID-19 response Fund here in Uganda, I mean what are the odds? We appreciate the good job that has been done via sensitizing Young People about Youth Sustainable Development Goals which kick started with building a strong structure where Youth were given a sit at the steering committee for representation. We also witnessed capacity building programs like the Youth SDGs Seminars under the Youth SDGs Fellowship that was strongly supported by the OPM with the aim of creating a broader awareness on Sustainable Development Goals. Through this Fellowship, Youth representation in National Policies like The National Development Plan 3 (NDP III) was effected through adequate capacity building processes. Let’s not forget the sessions on how to use and access UN SDGs tools. This clearly was a strong foundation that was put up to prepare Young Leaders in becoming Global Ambassadors in times like this the country is in.
Even amidst interacting with Global SDGs Ambassadors, there were challenges that Youth Representatives met on the way, for example, identifying and harmonizing on priority Youth Sustainable Development Goals. Creating sustainable interventions for Young People became a challenge this was due to lack of enough resources and an un bridged communication gap between the OPM and Youth. Without realizing that this was a global issue, Young People became stuck in between implementation and contribution to the NDP III, which is why priority interventions like localizing and popularizing SDGs were put on hold. After barely hitting a target of more than 5000 Youth who were reached out to and sensitized on SDGs and the role they could play in creating Development and Sustainability for the many unemployed Youth in Uganda today.
Its great that majority of these Youth through their respective institutions have been able to acquire enough information on SDGs a Global Agenda for which country leaders pledged their commitment towards Global Development. One thing we are asking is to meaningfully include and appreciate the role Young People have to play in the NDP3.
The country is in a state where community voices have become louder and clearer each and every day, it should become easier for policy makers to know which direction our country should take without leaving anyone behind. SDGs when clearly analyzed, are like a maze, each goal is intertwined within the other, and Youth must know where much focus should be put in order to reach the final destination in one piece.
A Health Advocate