President Museveni has said education alone is not enough to help youth thrive and forge successful futures.
He was Tuesday speaking at the “Africa Now” summit he co-chaired alongside other Heads of State and key business leaders on the continent at Commonwealth Resort hotel in Munyonyo.
“If it [education] creates people who only want white-collar jobs with no skills to enable them produce goods and services, then it will only swell the number of the unemployed,” Museveni noted.
In his opening address at the inaugural “Africa Now” summit, Museveni said he was glad young people have started a Think Tank.
“We have many think tanks especially in the West, however, they don’t think about Africa, they mainly think about the west.”
He said Africans first need to understand what is meant by transformation.
In the 1960s, economics was talking about growth and development, growth was supposed to be the quantitative expansion of the respective sectors, he explained.
He said development was a term that implied some qualitative changes propelling the economy and society to a higher level.
“When we became active, I insisted on the use of the word transformation. In the 1960s, they used to talk about sustainable development, however, I insisted on transformation.”
Museveni said after independence, he used to hear leaders talk of double production (you know politicians love slogans), meaning more production of the same product but this double production didn’t help.
In the 1960s and 70s when the only affluent part of the world was Europe and America, double production meant double supply which translated into low prices, he noted.
“What many of you call history, I call current affairs because I’ve been there watching.”
Museveni said the problem with Africa is that in the last 600 years, the continent has not transformed whereas African society has regressed.
He said the feudal class of Africa that competed for power with colonialists was decimated and only the peasantry was left. Many years of fascist revolution didn’t deliver social transformation.
He said education per se isn’t enough because it only creates youth who want white collar jobs.
“Education must help us have literacy, numeracy and skills if it’s to be transformative.”
Museveni said by addressing the issues of education and health, he will have removed two strategic bottlenecks.
“Apart from liberating the private sector, we say that ideological transformation is another bottleneck of transformation which then leads to a weak state.”