President Yoweri Museveni has advised youth to desist from alcohol as well living an extravagant lifestyles so as to succeed in their endeavours.
Museveni was Monday delivering his new year’s message from his country home in Rwakitura.
Youth development and unemployment, was one of nine issues upon which his address was based. Others included economy, crime, political discipline, regional integration, corruption, political leaders as examples in wealth creation, irrigation and land evictions.
He said a number of youth spend time in taking alcohol and narcotic drugs which according him hinders their prosperity. He said it is time they stopped.
“I advise those who flock to drinking centres and take narcotic drugs to seek for help. The NRM leaders in the localities should seek out these youth and help them with advice wherever possible,” he said.
“Do not be extravagant and showy. Be frugal, simple and hardworking. As a youth, I led my family and my area in modernisation and wealth creation, away from the ancient traditional ways,” he added
The President said they never wasted money on alcohol, luxuries, reveling (ebinyumo)or foreign travel adding that: “The youth who listen to our advice, will succeed.”
On Monday, the President also reiterated that his government laid a good foundation for the youth in the country, which is the reason for the outward shift in population growth rates.
He said that except for the few isolated cases, most youth in Uganda have been safeguarded from immunizable diseases especially poliomyelitis and measles.
“On the issue of the youth, which is number two on my list, I am very optimistic about their future. Why? It is because we have already laid quite a foundation for them. The youth of the NRM time were first antenantally supported by attending to the health of the mother while still pregnant,” the President said.
“When the baby was born, we immunized the child. That is how the population of Uganda jumped from 14 million to 40 million people today ─ almost all the NRM youth are free of polio and measles until very recently when I saw a report about some careless mothers that failed to take children for immunization and they caught measles,” he added.
Museveni said that the outbreak of measles should inform Ugandans about the implications of the disease, shouldn’t they immunise their children due to negligence.
In 1997, the NRM government introduced Universal Primary Education(UPE), with an aim of offering free primary education to four children per home, before removing the restrictions for all children to access education at no cost.
Now, the President says, the introduction of UPE has steadily increased the literacy rates in the country. He has however, noted that some gaps still exist, which the process to fill them is underway.
“We soon introduced Universal Primary Education (UPE) and Universal Secondary Education (USE) which have raised the level of the adult literacy rate from 43% to 75%,” he noted adding that: “The gaps we still have are: skills for many of these youth, jobs, wealth creation and, sometimes, discipline.”
He promised to use grants to facilitate programmes intended to shift the youth from seeking jobs to creating then jobs as means of delivering them from poverty.
Museveni also revealed that his government will continue on helping youth in technical institutions or through special courses, to produce more goods and services for export promotion as well as important substitution
On the side of the youth who frequent different places of worship, the president expressed delight about their search for God, but cautioned them about ‘miracle wealth’.
“I salute the many youth that flock the worship centres to pray to God and to listen to the scriptures. I only caution them on illusions of miracle wealth. ‘Lubaale mbeera, nembiro kwotadde’, our ancestors pointed out long ago. It translates as ‘God helps those who help themselves’,” said the President.