Refugee and Host Community Youth in Rhinocamp Refugee Settlement have been equipped with vocational and business skills under ANCHOR’s RESCOPE Project 2018-19.
The potential for youth, women, and girls to be the drivers of Uganda’s economy is huge but they, and particularly those from rural communities, are faced with numerous social barriers such as illiteracy, teenage pregnancy, early marriages, high school attrition, high dependency ratio, and socio-cultural prejudices.
Ugandan economy is now on a path of rapid and sustained growth. However, the number of new jobs arising from this growth has been low and hardly inclusive. Although the economy grew by an average of 4.5% year-on-year between FY15/16 and FY17/18, the number of people living in poverty increased in the same period from 19.7% in FY15/16 to 21.4% in FY17/18. Among households headed by subsistence farmers, the percentage poor increased from 20.3% to 38.2% between 2012/13 and 2016/17. Moreover, Poverty increased from 23% to 36% among those reporting crop/ subsistence farming as their main source of income. With a median age of 15.8 years, Uganda is the world’s third youngest country. An increasing working-age population is a major opportunity for economic growth in Africa. The World Bank estimates that this demographic dividend could generate 11-15% GDP growth between 2011 and 2030. However, without jobs and economic opportunities, social stresses such as unemployment could lead to unrest. A 2014 UN report highlighted this risk. The authors write: “lack of meaningful work among young people is playing into frustration that has in some instances contributed to social unrest or unmanaged migration.”