In response to the high unemployment rate and poverty level among the youth in Uganda the Government of Uganda launched the Youth Livelihood Programme (YLP). YLP is a Rolling Programme, that started in 2013, ending in 2018 targeting poor and unemployed youth (18-30 years) to harness their social-economic potential and increase self-employment opportunities and income levels.
The Programme is being implemented under the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development in collaboration with Local Governments and covers all the present 122 districts (including Kampala City) and 41 Municipalities. The design and implementation of the Programme is based on the Community Demand-driven Development (CDD) model. The youth receive the support in form of Revolving Funds advanced through Youth Interest Groups (YIGs).
The program is structured and mainstreamed at the national and Local Government levels where the Local Governments are responsible for mobilization & sensitization, beneficiary selection, facilitate projects preparation, appraisal and approval of projects, monitoring and supervision.
The Ministry provides the technical guidelines, support capacity building, financing, and overall coordination. And the support is provided by Youth Interest Groups (YIGs) of 10-15 persons in form of Revolving Funds (Soft Loans-with youth friendly terms).
The target groups include the following vulnerable categories of youth: Drop-outs from schools and training institutions, Youth living in slums, city streets, high risk and impoverished communities, Youth who have not had the opportunity to attend formal education, Single parent-youth, Youth with disability, Youth Living with HIV/AIDS and Youth who have completed secondary school or tertiary institutions (including University) but remain unemployed.
Under YLP, majority of the beneficiaries are school dropouts (34.6%), followed by those who have only completed primary education (19.6%). 2.8% of the beneficiaries are youths with disabilities.
The Program consists of the following components:
- Youth Empowerment: The greater involvement of the Youth in mobilization, sensitization, prioritization, and planning for their needs, implementation and monitoring and evaluation of Programme activities has created a sense of empowerment and confidence to take charge of their destiny. The skills provided through the basic training in financial management, entrepreneurship, business development, group dynamics and life skills, further strengthen the empowerment of the youth involved in the Programme.
- Youth Economic Engagement: the supported youth are engaged in self-employment through vocational trades and income generating activities financed under YLP.
- Financial Inclusion: All the youth supported under the Programme, receive the funds through the Commercial Banks. A number of these youth groups had never had any dealings with the Banks before, but are now holding savings accounts in the Commercial Banks. This is a great achievement in the promotion of financial inclusion among the vulnerable youth.
- Support to Local Economic Development: The YIGs procure products and services locally and thereby support the community like the supply of agricultural inputs, trainers for skills enhancement projects hence increase to local entrepreneurs who deal with the YIGs.
- Increase in Income Levels for the Youth: A number of the funded youth projects have been productive enabling the youth to earn commensurate income and this has enabled some YIGs to make 100% repayment. The process evaluation report rated 51% of YIG enterprises as successful, 46% struggling, and 3% failed/disbanded.
- Increased Acquisition of Skills: A number of youths have acquired employable skills under apprenticeship training provided by local experts. This has resulted into a multiplier effect and self-reliance of projects. For instance, a number of youths have opened their own training centers to train community members and other youth at manageable fees and flexible training time.
- Financial Inclusion: Under the programme, YIGs access project funds through commercial banks. Consequently, 13,107 YIGs bank accounts have been opened and operated. Additionally, beneficiaries have also opened accounts in Savings and Credit Cooperative Organizations (SACCO) and are engaged in Village Level Savings Associations (VLSA).
Achievements: The total amount repaid as at January 12, 2018, was UShs. 15.249 Billion, [representing 67 % of the UShs. 22.903 Billion that is due to-date]. 112 groups have to date fully paid up (100% Repayment).
The Programme in December 2017 commenced the process of revolving the funds recovered to various Districts and Municipal Councils. To date, 703 projects worth USHs. 6.269 Billion have been funded under the revolving funds. This is benefiting 8,112 youth.
Partners: local governments and municipalities.
Budget: It is financed initially from Government own resources (with a possibility of development partners’ support in the future). The programme has received a cumulative release of USh. 132,423,537,300 ( of the initial 265 Billion.
Ms Dianah Naturinda Makobore, Program Manager