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 boasts 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) and the curriculum was reworked. YLF is a modular training programme targeting both politically and socially interested and active young people between the age of 18 – 30 years.
The curriculum of the YLF is multi-disciplinary with involving eight thematic and participatory modules. Although the training is largely knowledge based, it includes some skills training on communication and advocacy as well as participatory methodologies, such as group discussions, dialogues, panel discussions, participatory games, and also field trips. Modules take place for two days each month with seasoned experts from within the country sharing their expertise and experience.
Every year, the programme brings together between 30 – 35 competitively selected young adults from different backgrounds and ideally from all regions of the country. The programme is widely advertised and the application process starts in October each year. FES YLF alumni are actively involved in politics, social professions, community-based organisations and many other fields. They are shaping the direction of their organisations, institutions and communities and contributing to the development of Uganda.