One of the biggest challenges facing the youth is persistent poverty. This weakens the bargaining power and increases vulnerability to being used by the politically connected and powerful elite, with tokenistic monetary gifts and meaningless titles. The statement below from an election candidate in the 2011 parliamentary elections summarizes thus; “If I cannot convince them, I must confuse them with money and alcohol”. Investing in supporting youth access to and participation in gainful economic opportunities is key to changing this unfortunate situation. Below are the actions that UYONET will make every effort to deliver in the coming ten years to address this situation:
Over the coming ten years, UYONET shall work with youth formations, the private sector and the government of Uganda, and development partners, to establish regional youth career development, employment and immigrations advisory services, innovations and creatives hub, to begin with in regional centres like Mbarara (western), Gulu (Northern), Mbale (Eastern), and Masaka southern, and Kampala (Central) once these re successful, other sub-regional hubs can be established. Apart from increasing youth employment and other economic opportunities, the hub will also strengthen integration and social cohesion.
UYONET is working towards employment and career guidance services: how to find, apply for, and keep jobs, job attachments, placements, exchanges, and internship opportunities, causal labour, professional assignments both local and international. It will also handle coaching on youth career growth strategies at all levels.
Entrepreneurship and agribusiness opportunities advisory services: a number of organizations and government have arranged one off entrepreneurship trainings for youth. This is often not enough as many would love to get an accessible reference point where they can get follow up technical and experiential advisory support services whenever they need it. UYONET intends to establish the advisory services.
Innovations and creative advisory services: This will be an opportunity for helping youth who have innovative ideas in all areas of ICT, creative social arts and other innovations get advice and how to take forward their dream and where to get further help to improve.
UYONET has started implementing an ‘IGNITE CHANGE project’: a new 5 year project, where UYONET will make efforts to influence budget allocations in the agricultural and youth employment sectors by engaging beneficiaries that will include farmer groups/ associations/ networks/ CSOs, Youth Councillors, PWDs, and relevant Local government departments and at the same time organize collective youth voices for evidence based budget and policy advocacy.
YONET will work existing local Advocacy Groups, networks to enhance their capacity to actively participate in the budgeting cycle right from parish, sub county and district level. At this level, efforts will be geared towards training female and male youth in budgeting and planning processes, Budget Advocacy and Local Government Governance. They will be supported to come up with a youth position (priorities) in the agriculture and or Job creation for engagement in budgeting and planning consultative meetings. With this enhanced capacity, Youth especially councillors/leaders will be in position to monitor district budget expenditure processes and engage through social accountability dialogues at all levels.
This will be supported by Oxfam Novib Uganda.
 Trainings will be delivered using tested and successful models such as the Active Citizens model and ours by Right models.