SDGs & the Youth


  • Uganda is home to 40 million citizens and over one million refugees.
  • Annual population growth is 3%, meaning 1,200,000 Ugandans are born every year.
  • 78% of Uganda’s population are under 30 years of age.
  • 80% of Uganda’s youth live in rural areas.
  • 34.8% of Uganda’s population are adolescents with a similar sex distribution
  • 38.5% of young people aged 10-19 live in the two poorest wealth quintiles
  • 19.6% of young people aged 10-19 live in households where the head of household has no education
  • 64% of the young persons aged 15-29 years in Uganda are in some form of employment
  • Among the working population aged 10-24 years, 54.3% are females and 55.1% are males
  • 15% of youth in school are also engaged in employment
  • Every year, 40,000 graduates each year from tertiary institutions
  • 80% of those graduating from tertiary institutions are unable to get jobs
  • 91% of youth work in the informal sector
  • (SOURCE: UNFPA Uganda)

Youth as a Government Priority

Uganda has taken an inclusive approach to development, which is particularly beneficial for young people. The creation and implementation of strong and effective youth policies require a whole-of-government approach, drawing in different line ministries and departments as well as various levels of government and multiple stakeholders to ensure that policy development and implementation are robust and reflective of the whole of youth. Such a process provides an opportunity to strengthen youth mainstreaming and youth policy implementation at all levels.

Jobs Created Under the National Youth Policy (2014-2017)

Uganda adopted the National Youth Policy in 2001, with the specific goal of enhancing the economic contributions of youth. The policy was a reaction to worsening youth conditions, where an increase in rural to urban youth migration was not accompanied by job creation.
The Youth Livelihood Programme and the Youth Livelihood Programme and the Youth Livelihood Fund were created to provide funding and other support to small enterprises led by youth. The aim was to support small business development and job creation (Republic of Uganda 2001; Makumbi 2018).

Youth and the SDGs

Far from being mere beneficiaries of the 2030 Agenda, young people have been active architects in its development and continue to be engaged in the frameworks and processes that support its implementation, follow-up and review. The adoption of the 2030 Agenda represented the culmination of an extensive three-year process involving Member States and civil society, including youth organizations, in the development of specific goals and targets and marked the beginning of a 15-year journey to achieve sustainable development by 2030.

There are 1.2 billion young people in the world aged 15 to 24 years, accounting for 16 per cent of the global population. The active engagement of youth in sustainable development efforts is central to achieving sustainable, inclusive and stable societies by the target date, and to averting the worst threats and challenges to sustainable development, including the impacts of climate change, unemployment, poverty, gender inequality, conflict, and migration.
One Million Youth SDGs Solutions Initiative.
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