In Uganda, two policy documents govern the discussions and actions relating to youth affairs; the 2016 National Youth Policy and the 2017 National Youth Policy Action Plan. In both these documents, Uganda boosts of having one of the youngest population in the world.
However, behind the demographic and numerical advantage, lies the potential to motivate the youth to advocate for social justice and good governance, enhance their participation in political affairs and support for meaningful democratic processes in the county.
In a quest to support a more active role of the youth, FES Uganda in 2008 developed the Young Leadership Training Programme (YLTP). The main objective of the programme was to broaden and deepen the knowledge and skills of young people to support their meaningful engagement.
In 2014, the programme was re-named Young Leadership Forum (YLF), as a module training programme targeting both politically interested and socially active young people between the age of 18 – 30 years.
The curriculum of the YLF is multi-disciplinary with revolving eight thematic and participatory modules. These are: leadership and ethics, communication, structural principles of democratic systems that incorporates an investigation of the principles of constitutionalism, human rights and separation of powers, labour issues and social justice, approaches to development, public resources, the budget and advocacy, managing diversity, peace and conflict. Although the training is largely knowledge based, it includes a skills-based and participatory methodologies, group discussions, dialogues, panel discussions, participatory games and field trips.
Every year, the programme brings together between 30 – 35 competitively selected young adults from different backgrounds with a national representation. The programme is widely advertised and the application process starts in October for two days each month, with seasoned experts within the country sharing their expertise and experience.
FES alumni are now actively involved in politics and are shaping the direction of their organisations, institutions and communities.