First Lady and Minister of Education and Sports, Mrs. Janet Museveni, has called on stakeholders from government agencies, the private sector, and civil society to support the Emerging Leaders Programme.

This initiative, spearheaded by Mrs. Museveni, focuses on values, character development, and life skills for young people to combat moral and ethical decay among the youth.

The Emerging Leaders Programme aims to nurture and empower young people to foster a dignified generation strong in character and wisdom. This, in turn, will create responsible and productive citizens contributing to sustainable development. The program, implemented in partnership with Makerere University, Life Ministry Uganda, and the Global Leadership Summit, started with students in tertiary institutions, piloted at Makerere University. It is a capacity-building and behavioral intervention known as “The Safe Campaign.”

On Wednesday, Mrs. Museveni chaired a stakeholder engagement at State House Nakasero, attended by over 70 representatives from institutions focusing on HIV/AIDS, substance abuse, anti-corruption, and the financial sector. Attendees included the Rt. Hon. Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Thomas Tayebwa, religious leaders, the Inspector General of Government, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Education and Sports, Makerere University Council Chairperson, Vice-Chancellor, representatives from Makerere Students Guild, and CEOs from leading media organizations such as Vision Group’s Don Wanyama.

“I invite you to join me as we empower the next generation to realize their unique, God-given potential and to contribute positively to our nation’s future,” Mrs. Museveni urged.

“Together, let us invest in our youth, instilling in them the values of integrity, resilience, and purpose; empowering them to become the ethical and responsible professionals Uganda yearns for.”

Mrs. Museveni emphasized that collective efforts will not only transform individual lives but also pave the way for a brighter, more prosperous future for the nation. She described the Emerging Leaders Programme as more than an initiative—it’s a beacon of hope and a catalyst for change, demonstrating the power of unity around a common cause.

Highlighting the challenges facing the youth, Mrs. Museveni stressed the need for concerted action: “Every day, countless youngsters deviate from the path of greatness in the face of real-life challenges that have robbed the destiny of many. Yet we all know that in the heart and mind of every young person lies the potential for a bright future.”

She urged stakeholders to stop mourning the nation’s moral decline in silence and instead take proactive steps. “While I am mindful that each one of the stakeholders does great work to address these issues, I believe that together, so much can be achieved to change this narrative and build a better Uganda.”

The First Lady commended Makerere University, LIFE Ministry Uganda, and the Global Leadership Summit for their dedication and leadership in implementing the program. “Your commitment has been instrumental in the successful implementation of this initiative thus far. Thank you for rising to the occasion and graciously stewarding this work,” she said.

Deputy Speaker Thomas Tayebwa highlighted the dangers of technology advancement, particularly the exposure of children to harmful internet content, and stressed the need to define Uganda’s ethos. The IGG, Betty Kamya, advocated for religious education in schools to build strong character among young people.

Barbara Kaija, Co-Chair of the Emerging Leaders Programme, noted that while many youths have academic degrees, they need the right values and character to succeed. She emphasized that drug and alcohol abuse, HIV/AIDS, and corruption are serious issues that, if left unaddressed, could decimate the nation. She called for strong legislation, counselling services, well-managed rehabilitation facilities, and national and community campaigns to tackle these problems.

Makerere University Council Chairperson, Mrs. Lorna Magara, stressed the moral obligation of the older generation to guide and inspire young people. She invited stakeholders to participate in leadership development, mentorship, work and community engagement, and internship placements.

“Together we can build a brighter day. Your support, active participation, and generous contributions will help us transform mindsets for a prosperous future and nation,” she said.

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