In Uganda, we supported a youth festival to demonstrate the spirit of entrepreneurship. USAID organized a national youth festival with 18 youth organizations and 26 youth clubs from local universities. More than 7,000 youth attended the event and three Members of Parliament who represent youth. The event was used to showcase entrepreneurial activities that youth are engaged in and link them with potential donors. Several young entrepreneurs shared their challenges and achievements, and encouraged their peers to learn skills that can enable them to create jobs. Training was held in social media, a skill that was highlighted by the entrepreneurs. Debates were also held on key factors affecting youth employment and the best ways to address the high unemployment rate among the youth in Uganda; the debate was facilitated by the youth MPs. There were even talent shows held in dance, drama and creative writing as tools for youth advocacy. USAID will continue to support youth advocacy on unemployment and follow up on promises by elected officials to create opportunities to reduce youth unemployment.
In Nicaragua, we are supporting access to public information. USAID’s Municipal Governance Program signed a grant with the municipality of Nueva Guinea to provide IT equipment and technical assistance that will improve the work of their public information office. The grant includes a public awareness campaign component to educate citizens on the importance of requesting public information. Democracy and Governance Office Chief, Jessica Zaman, remarked on the importance of access to public information as a basic human right. Nueva Guinea Mayor, Obando Marín, thanked USAID for its support and emphasized that access to public information is not just intended to share information with everyone, but it should be considered a means to make concerted decisions that benefit the entire community. More than 150 community leaders attended the event. The Municipal Governance Program supports 20 Nicaraguan municipalities in the areas of governance, management, public services, transparency and citizenship.