The Government has been asked to involve youths in the oil and gas industry so that they can be more informed and become drivers of change towards poverty eradication in the country.
Speaking during the inter-secondary schools’ debate competition on oil and gas held in Hoima district recently, Action Aid Uganda, Extractives Governance Coordinator, Didas Muhumuza said there is need to involve young people because they are among the key stakeholders that can bring development in Uganda.
The panel of judges listening to the debate
“Oil and gas industry is based on technical information, so there is a need for the government to create more training opportunities, put up awareness campaigns and provide schools with research materials in libraries so that they can be knowledgeable about what is transpiring in the sector when the oil production starts,” he noted.
Muhumuza added that the oil and gas debates in secondary schools in the region were intended to gauge the knowledge and understanding of students about the oil sector.
“Such debates are good for young people because they need to know how they will benefit from the sector since they are the leaders of tomorrow,” he said.
Agnes Nakintu (Right) together with other panel judges during the inter-secondary schools debate competition
The Hoima district speaker Nathan Kitwe Isingoma who was also the guest of honor thanked Action Aid Uganda and KITARA development initiative for organising the debate and asked them to come up with more debates and roll out to other districts saying it widens their thinking and creates confidence among them.
“I am very impressed with the topic and the flow of the debate; these young people debate even better than my councilors. My humble appeal is for you to organize more of these and also roll out to more districts in the country,” he said
He further stressed that involving young people in the oil and gas industry can lead to the creation of jobs and enhance their voice in decision making hence transforming the economy.
The Hoima Deputy Resident District Commissioner (RDC) Richard Tabaaro asked the government to come up with strong policies and implement stringent laws on oil and gas for proper management.
Students attending the inter-secondary schools’ debate
“Uganda discovered commercially viable deposits of oil and natural gas in the Albertine region, this important resource can make a country prosper from a poor country into a middle-income country if and only its management is streamlined in the country by adopting good policies to manage it,” he said.
Tabaaro also called upon Non- Governmental Organisations to exercise political discipline and work closely with the government to ensure socio-stability and development of the country.
About the debate
Eight secondary schools participated in the inter-schools debate competition, and they include; Mandela, Kitara, St Thomas More, Premier, Strive, Buseruka, St Cyprian and Day Star secondary schools.
Susan Kaunde, a senior three student from Kitara Secondary School (left) and Felix Muhumuza from Mandela Secondary School (right) during the debate on oil and gas held
Mandela Secondary School emerged the winners with 249 points, followed by Kitara S.S with 216 and St Thomas more got 144 points taking the third position.
The debate had three motions; The oil and gas sector had come with opportunities for Uganda, discuss, There is a deliberate effort to develop skills for the oil and gas sector among Ugandans and The youth in Uganda have benefitted from the oil industry, discuss.
The parameters that were considered to award marks were; interpretation of the resolution (motion), smartness, audibility, articulate, evidence/research, respect to rules, and time management.