Balunywa: Youth can do better than hawk Chinese goods


The Sunday vision of July 7, 2013 talked about how sports betting is crippling our youth.

Sometime back, I posted an article on the same thing. One of the key challenges our nation has is creating employment for the youth.

Over 70% of Uganda’s population is reported to be below 30 years old.

This means that a very small part of the population possibly those between 31 and 65 are creating the wealth and the resources the nation is using.

Of course when you look at it from the perspective of wealth, there is nothing to talk about. 30% of the population lives below the poverty line.

80% are in the rural areas. 90% do not have access to electricity. 95% of the employed are in the informal sector. All this spells poverty for the country.

The only way to overcome this is through creating jobs. And not just jobs of bodaboda cycling and peddling Chinese 3rd class low quality goods in the streets, it is not about carwash or selling vegetables, coca cola and water on the streets, the jobs we are talking about are high quality jobs that result into value addition.

We are talking about jobs either in the manufacturing sector or in the IT sector. In comes gambling. It is an exciting thing to gamble but the law of gambling is that 93% lose and less than 5% win. It is addictive and leads to hysteria plus heart attacks.

For some reason, government has licensed numerous businesses doing sports betting. It is becoming the second type of expenditure after airtime.

Taxi drivers, boda boda drivers, students, hawkers wake up in the morning and take money to the betting houses.

They place as little as 500shs. Of course majority of them lose the money. Once in a while, one hits a jack pot.

We are not going to turn the world through gambling. The casinos in the up market places were not accessible to the poor people.

Now the game has changed, as the bible prophecy tends to be more positive when it says ‘…everyone who has, more will be given,…” we rarely look at the negative which says “…but from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away”.

As we plan to improve the welfare of the youth in this country, there are certain things we would rather not do. I hope that taxes coming out of sorts betting are going out to creating job opportunities for the young people.

Waswa Balunywa, is the principal Makerere Univeristy Business School (Mubs)


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