She says the National Youth Council Executive Committee sat in January and resolved to push for the extension of the tenure of the National Youth Council beginning with the current office bearers so as to align it with the Constitution as ammended
The council is established under the National Youth council Act and is composed of one representative from each district elected by the members of the district youth council; two student representatives elected by the Uganda National Students Association, one of whom is a female, ten female representatives elected by the conference from among the female members of the conference, at least two to represent a region.
There are over 5000 council members in the country, including 11 members of the executive. The National Youth Council Amendment Act of 2015 provides that elected members of the Council and other Committees shall serve for a term of five (5) Years. The incumbent youth council leaders are expected to vacate office by 2021 after completing their term of service.
However, the youth council leaders now seek to extend their stay in office to 2023 by extending it from five to seven years. Lillian Aber, the Chairperson of the National Youth Council, says following the Constitutional Amendment Act of 2017, in which Sections 9 and 10, Articles 289 and 291 of the Constitution of the Republic of Uganda was amended, extending the term of Parliament and Local Councils by seven years, by implication, the next general elections shall be carried out in the year 2023.
Aber argues that this will create a leadership vacuum for youths for two years if the amendments are not done. She says the vaccum could affect Youth participation in decision making and their representation in various government programs a case in point, the Youth Livelihood program, which involves Youth leaders from the sub-county level in the selection of beneficiaries and monitoring performance.
She says the National Youth Council Executive Committee sat in January and resolved to push for the extension of the tenure of the National Youth Council beginning with the current office bearers so as to align it with the Constitution as ammended.
The council also seeks to amend the age of youth from the current 18-30 to 18-35 years to align it with international conventions. The council has already written to the Gender, Labor and Social Development Ministry requesting the line Minister to initiate the process for amending the National Youth Council Act and table the proposals before cabinet for approval.
Asked by URN when this process will kick off, Aber said they have not yet decided on the move and were still discussing it. "It is only one of the amendments, and there are many other amendments. But we shall work on this, then inform the press when we are ready," Aber said.
Government allocates the national youth council approximately Shillings 1 billion each financial year. The Members of the National youth council are paid allowances whenever they attend council meetings and their National executive meetings.