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DP Ruto feted in Uganda, urges youth to seize opportunities

By Joan Letting and DPPS | August 19th 2018

Deputy President William Ruto has called on the youth to take their rightful positions in the society and shape Africa’s development agenda towards economic prosperity.

Ruto was speaking in Kampala, Uganda during the 2018 edition of the Young Achievers Awards. 

The Deputy President said that if they were to make it in life, the youth must yearn a better future.

“You must be hungry for a better future if you want to make it in life and to make a change in the society. Impossible is a word with diminished application and relevance,” said Ruto.

Ruto who was awarded the 2018 Lifetime Achievement Award said that for the youth to unlock their potential, there is need for Africa’s education system to be reformed to lean towards science, technology and technical training.

“This view is informed by the fact that while at school, I marveled at the pedagogy that emphasized information of little relevance to Africa’s economic development. For what shall it profit a young person to know when Vasco da Gama reached Malindi or when Henry Morton Stanley discovered the mouth of the Congo River,” he wondered.

He added that it was important for the youth to be acquainted with the science of crop production or electricity generation and the art of design that would be of great help to them.

He noted that the Kenyan government had put more emphasis on the “forgotten, ignored and underfunded technical training” for industrial take off in the quest for the Big 4.

“Today, we boast of 11 national polytechnics, 125 vocational colleges and 67 others at different stages of development. From the current 180,000 students in technical colleges, our plan is to expand enrollment to over three million in the next five years,” added the Deputy President.

He challenged the youth to seize opportunities and be a part of those who make history.

Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni in his speech read by the Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda urged the youth to focus on transformative issues that would bring development.

“Well guided young people are an asset to the community. They are an important link between the past and the present. We are glad that the focus of youths today is on bringing solutions to societal problems,” said Museveni.

The Prime Minister lauded Mr Ruto and urged him to “Continue being the change agent that the society needs in Kenya but across the region."

The Deputy President was accompanied by his wife Mrs. Rachel Ruto, EAC Cabinet Secretary Adan Mohammed, Governors Prof John Lonyangapuo (West Pokot), Josephat Nanok (Turkana) and Sospeter Ojaamong (Busia), Trans-Nzoia Senator Michael Mbito and MPs Ndindi Nyoro (Kiharu) and Robert Pukose (Endebess).

The Young Achievers Awards was founded by two entrepreneurs Awel Uwihanganye and Ivan Serwano Kyambadde in 2009.

It recognises outstanding youth in Uganda that have excelled in various realms such as the arts, entrepreneurship, journalism, philanthropy, innovation, sports, among others.

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