In the recent days, Uganda has found itself basking in the global spotlight, welcoming delegates from across the Global South as host of both the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) summit and, currently, the G77 Summit. With the latter nearing its conclusion, it’s a moment to reflect on what these international gatherings truly mean for our nation, and particularly, for the future generation – our youth.
The benefits of hosting such high-profile events are tangible and varied. First and foremost, it’s a resounding vote of confidence for Uganda’s stability and diplomatic prowess. The world has taken notice of our progress, entrusting us with facilitating crucial conversations on challenges and opportunities facing developing nations. This translates to boosted international prestige, opening doors for future collaborations and trade partnerships.
Furthermore, these summits are catalyst for economic growth. Imagine the surge in tourism, infrastructure upgrades, and job creation associated with hosting thousands of visitors. Additionally, the focus on crucial topics like climate change, sustainable development, and youth empowerment creates fertile ground for attracting foreign investment and launching innovative projects in these vital areas.
But beyond the economic and political dividends, Uganda’s leadership role in these summits presents a unique opportunity for our youth to connect with a global network of peers and leaders. The exchanges at these forums breed new ideas, foster cultural understanding, and expose young minds to diverse perspectives on tackling the world’s most pressing issues.
Imagine Ugandan students engaging in vibrant discussions with their counterparts from developing nations, sharing experiences and forging partnerships that could one day blossom into collaborative ventures tackling issues like food security, renewable energy, or healthcare access. These future diplomats, entrepreneurs, and changemakers are being molded right here, under the same banner of collaboration and progress that these summits represent.
However, it’s not enough to simply host these events. The true measure of success lies in translating the discussions into tangible action. Our youth must be given the platform to participate in post-summit initiatives, ensuring their voices are heard and their ideas find fertile ground. This could involve internships, mentorship programs, and youth-led projects aligned with the themes discussed at the G77, empowering them to become active agents of change within their communities and across the globe.
Uganda’s role as host of the NAM and G77 summits is not just a fleeting moment in the sun. It’s a springboard for progress, a platform for amplifying our voice, and a catalyst for empowering our youth to create a brighter future for themselves and the world. Let us capitalize on this momentum, ensuring that the seeds sown during these summits blossom into lasting benefits for generations to come.
The writer is the LC 5 Male youth councillor for Rubanda District