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Sheema, Moroto Districts Perform well in Youth Funds Recovery

Although the program has registered numerous challenges in recovery and project implementation, the new findings by the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development through independent consultants from the university of California Los Angeles and Makerere University indicates that at least some districts performed well.
Minister Janat Mukwaya with the Project mamagers of UWEP ( Brenda Malinga)and YLP( Happy James Tumwebaze)

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Sheema and Kotido have been named the best performing districts in the management of the Youth Livelihood Programme, YLP.

The programme is a revolving fund initiated by the Government of Uganda in 2013 to address unemployment among the youths.  Funds are advanced to youth interest groups and repayment after one year attracts a 5 per cent service fee to cater for inflation, while the principal and service fee is repaid in three years.

Although the program has registered numerous challenges in recovery and project implementation, the new findings by the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development through independent consultants from the University of California Los Angeles and Makerere University indicates that at least some districts performed well.

Among the best five districts that were highlighted with glaring performance include Sheema with 87 per cent, Moroto 86 per cent, Bushenyi 85 per cent, while Kasese and Kotido tied with 83 per cent.

Pius Bigirimana, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development says at least 40 districts performed above 70 per cent and several others above average. He also revealed that the worst-performing districts like Kapelebyong, Kasanda, Butebo, Nabilatuk, Omolo and Abim performed below 10 per cent.

He explained that among the poor performing districts are new ones created recently after the launch of the program. Bigirimana made it clear that Abim district which was among the first districts to receive YLP funds in 2013 performed poorly because of political interference.

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In his report to Parliament in January 2019, the Auditor-General revealed that government may never recover 28.4 billion Shillings disbursed to youth groups across the country under the Youth Livelihood Project. The Auditor-General found that almost 64 per cent of the sampled youth projects, consisting of 71 per cent value of loans, were non-existent and another 25 per cent had reportedly embezzled the funds.

But Janat Mukwaya, the Minister of Gender, Labour and Social Development says a lot has changed as many groups have paid off. She says that 270 groups have already completed repayment of their loans amounting to UGX 30.4 billion out of UGX 51 billion due for payment.

She notes that the bull fattening projects, services like bodaboda, piggery and handcrafts flourished during implementation across the country. Mukwaya commended the outstanding performance of Karamoja district in the recovery of the youth funds, something she noted was a challenge to the rest of the country. 

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According to Mukwaya, every money recovered under YLP from the district is returned to the same district to benefit other youth.

Meanwhile, the ministry has revised the group sizes for the youth from 10 to five as a minimum number and increased the catchment area from village to parish level. It has also withheld disbursement of youth funds from the districts and reviewed signatories to group bank accounts to three people in the group.