By Raymond Mujuni
A pack of rowdy youths running around with stolen, huge posho chunks at the city hall, is partly what the finance minister Maria Kiwanuka, had envisaged to shelf from Ugandan news scenery when she announced a 44bn fund to fight the youth unemployment in the 2011/12 budget.
The monies initially rose their way to fame as one of the multitudes of major government policies meant to please an already disgruntled populace. A redemption trap of political trickery however lay right ahead of the youth breather ready to engulf and wrestle down the initiative and play innocent thereafter.
The frequent restlessness prove not only miscalculated moves by youths to expect banks to bow to their needs ahead of profit, but also show a youth movement still basking in political trickery.
Venture capital fund from it’s architects is risk-funding to potential businesses and business ideas meant to address micro and macro-level economic turbulence like unemployment, product scarcity among others. In most cases of venture capital funding, two sets of funds are drafted for the beneficiaries, a seed fund is provided for potential business ideas then a major fund for already established business with prospects of huge growth over a short-time scale.
After knowing this, understanding the Uganda case seems to be hard, with millions of unemployed people, it would not be advisable for us to skip fast to major venture-capital funding worse-still for youths who barely have a business to run. Secondly, we can’t engulf all youths in the venture capital funding as this would require more monies which we don’t have and it is also an economic trap to have thousands of starter businesses which the government cannot bail out in cases of economic fixes.
So what is more advisable for the government, is to outsource in university graduates for brilliant business ideas whose inception can garner maximum employment, to award venture capital rather than leave banks do the thinking for the nation.
Venture capital is not an end in itself towards solving unemployment, further government policies like review of investors’ plans to include citizen employment should also be explored.
There are examples of successful venture capital firms within the country like quality chemicals which is a major employer in the country.
If the concept of venture capital fund continue to be driven by political ambitions and bank profits, we are destined for further scenes of youths grabbing police food, tear-gas cannisters flying in every part of the country over youth fund and at the peak of all this instability which will further cast business in the country in uncertainity.
This blog post was originally published on Raymond’s Blog . The views in it are the author’s own.