The Vice President Maj. Jessica Alupo has presided over the first Golden Youth Symposium held today, at Soroti University in Soroti district. The symposium has drawn youth leaders from institutions of higher learning from across the country. It was organized under the theme, “Leadership based approach to institutional development”.
In her message, Alupo told the youth that leadership is the engine for Development and transformation of societies. “People should be very analytical in choosing people that they want to lead them. You must choose people with clear ideologies and visions to achieve sustainable development,” she said, as the young people listened in.
Alupo shared her brief leadership experience by reminding the youth of the four principles of the NRM. These, she said, have allowed government to deliver to the people of Uganda progressively. The four principles are
Nationalism, Pan Africanism, Social Economic Transformation and Democracy.
The Vice President noted that it’s because of the above pillars that the country is being transformed from peasant economy to a prosperous one under the able leadership of President Yoweri Museveni.
She urged the youth to use their leadership positions to transform and raise household incomes of the 39% representing 3.5m households and 17.5m living below the poverty line.
“As youth you should focus on these people to uplift them from the poverty,” Alupo said, encouraging them to embrace the governments intitiavies like the Parish Development Model, a tool aimed at increasing household incomes of Ugandans.
The youth leaders drawn from various institutions of higher learning were counseled on key successful leadership tips. “Leadership is influence and not authority”, the Vice President stated, guiding them on the priviledge of youth and urging them further on
the quest to be a successful leader. “As youths, you must
listen to every word and every voice, use your eyes, ears and brains to avoid being pushed into undesirable temptations,” Alupo noted.
The Vice President, acting on motherly instincts appealed to youth to be good primary beneficiaries of government infrastructural services. “You must know that our responsibility is to give back to communities where we live and build very strong foundation in order to leave a good trail to the best of your human abilities and inspire others”, she said.
The vice president assured the young leaders that society needs young men and women who are trainable, resilient and are ready to serve their country with zeal.
On unemployment, the Vice President informed the young leaders that one of the key areas in focus was making agriculture so attractive for the youth to address the challenge of unemployment. “It’s important for you to position yourselves to effectively benefit from government programs and interventions,” she urged them.
The Vice President highlighted other issues of law enforcement, urging the young people to work as friends of armed forces to eliminate criminality.
“We want to work with you to get rid of criminal elements in the community, and if there are people who deserve rehabilitation, we will do so, because we believe in the message of rehabilitation”.
The Deputy Commander of Defense Forces Gen Peter Elwelu-also present at the symposium spoke to the youth about patriotism and love for country. ” Anyone who is not patriotic is a sinner”, he stated, drawing applause from the leaders.
Sharing on leadership tips, Elwelu said;
“Leadership is a calling and one is born a leader though some peopl struggle to become, leaders,” drawing in the comparisons of youth accross the world. “More young people are the world are restless, yet you must understand the times we are in,” Elweru said, as he urged them to think deeper.
He cautioned the youth on Patriotism and asked them to “love humanity and stay focused.”
Elwelu decried the level of sin in the country, which he said is going up and must be checked.
“Murders, corruption, arrogance; why? Gen Elwelu wondered aloud. He urged the youth on wealth creation asking rather rhetorically; “Why would someone who doesn’t even own a chicken start abusing people,” arguing the youth instead to understand the times we are living in and the times ahead.
“It’s during these days when people are selfish, love money, are violent and abusive, times when children curse their parents, lack of affection for their families, love pleasure than God that destroy our fabric,” the General said.
He noted that they cannot be patriotic youth when they cannot respect their elders. The formular for a good youth, Gen Elwelu noted, is to able to transform communities.
The Deputy CDF also paid tribute to President Yoweri Museveni, saying it’s because of his effective leadership that Uganda is able to achieve social economic transformation.
“You need principals like democracy, admitting error and service above self to be effective Leaders. If people you are serving are not being transformed that means you’re not an effective Leader. You should be an impactful person; President Museveni is,” he said.
Bocso Okiror, the chairperson of Teso Parliamentary Group also MP-Usuk County
told youths that leadership is a personality issue because :you cannot fail to manage yourself and then manage society,”
Okiror noted that in order to be an effective leader then they youths must be good listeners. Do not put speaking ahead of listening, be vigilant in communication, be dynamic and be able to change with the changing times. Lead by example because that goes into your character, and society watches what you do”. Okiror advised.
Jacob Eyeru, the chairperson of the National Youth council
asked youth to remain united. “You must ensure that you build consensus on all issues arising and being discussed to promote togetherness.
“Aspire to be a generation which is very ambitious, organized, focused and purposefully if you want to achieve life desires”, Eyeru said. He promised to make the Golden youth symposium an annual event to continue nurturing young leaders.
Other speakers and leaders cautioned the youth leaders to be good role models, consistent in the correct ideology, Promote unity regardless of tribe, colour, age and religion and be non discriminatory.