Uganda’s Prime Minister, Ruhakana Rugunda has Wednesday flagged off a total of 60 youth for the East African Youth Caravan that will take place in Arusha, Tanzania’s capital, to fast track the ratification of the African Youth Charter by members of the East African Community.
The Prime Minister used the occasion to rally youth to avoid rushing abroad for greener pastures, but instead to focus on creating employment in their home countries.
“We need to take extraordinary steps to ensure that Africa regains its wealth and dignity. We Africans are not working hard to ensure that we reverse some of the shameful activities taking place. I always get embarrassed when I see Africans run to Europe to get jobs,” Rugunda said.
The youth caravan intends to integrate young people within the East African region and also ensure that they understand the East African Community mission.
According to the National Youth Council Chairperson, Lillian Aber, much as Uganda ratified the African Youth Charter, other countries like Tanzania have not.
“We are working towards bringing together youth from different countries of the East African Community for a youth council that will help push the youth agenda and the African Youth Charter,” Aber said.
Aber said, “Uganda signed the Charter as well as Kenya, but Tanzania hasn’t done so as well as other countries”.
“We want to rally youth from these countries to push their countries to sign to the Charter”.
The Charter accords youths the freedom to engage directly in politics and involve in trade without being charged highly as well as studying in the neighbouring countries without being charged as foreign students.
Aber noted that the ratification of the Youth Charter will among other things increase the inclusion in policy formulation, implementation and governance.
She said the team will have an engagement with other youths on the importance of the youth involvement in the regional integration process.
The team from Uganda together along with their counterparts from Rwanda, Kenya, Tanzania, Burundi and South Sudan will on Saturday have a special sitting in Arusha to draft a paper to present to the EALA Speaker on November 18.