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Engage the unproductive youths

Isa Senkumba

Engage the unproductive youths

Uganda is blessed with the biggest percentage of her population as youths. In the spheres of growth and development this is meant to be good news. The country should be reaping big from this young, energetic, educated and creative labour force. To our dismay this may not be the case because this huge fraction of the youths is unproductive. The youths have stayed unemployed, redundant and spend all the time gambling, on drugs and other unproductive activities

It can still be the duty of government to make these citizens relevant to the nation because the country spends handsomely through health, Finland, Germany, Jamaica, Kenya, Malaysia, Mexico, Nigeria, Norway, Papua New Guinea, Switzerland, and Taiwan (Republic of China) require youth national service from their citizens.

This is a service by an individual or group in an army or other militia, whether as a chosen job or as a result of an involuntary draft.  Some nations like Mexico require a specific amount of military service from every citizen, except for special cases, such as physical or mental disorders or religious beliefs. A nation with a fully volunteer military does not normally require mandatory military service from its citizens, unless it is faced with a recruitment crisis during a time of war.
 
Critics of the policy say that conscription is controversial for a range of reasons, including conscientious objection to military engagements on religious or philosophical grounds; political objection, for example to service for a disliked government or unpopular war; and ideological objection, for example, to a perceived violation of individual rights. Those conscripted may evade service, sometimes by leaving the country.  Some countries, such as Israel, still have a draft – where the government forces you to serve a specific number of months in the military.
 
When the U.S. had a draft, the compulsory service was 24 months. Compulsory service, usually of young men of a given age, for instance, 17-18 years of age, for a set period of time, commonly one-to-two years is patriotic act which reminds citizens of their duty to serve their countries. . In the United Kingdom and Singapore this was commonly known as “national service”; in New Zealand, at first compulsory military training and later national service.

The quest to have citizens serve their countries has not spared the female citizens. Some countries enlist women as well. The modern example is Israel, where both men and women have to serve in the military, or in national service. Israel conscripted females for auxiliary military duty , that’s , support and training duties, until the end of the Cold War in 1990. Communist Russia conscripted females during the “Great Patriotic War” (WW2) but kept them in separate units. Female Russian fighter pilots shot down many German pilots on the Russian Front.
 
It may be perfectly healthy for the youth to serve in the military for sometime on grounds that it builds the patriotism bond between citizens and their country. However it may also be true that self-centered politicians may use this as a means of involving the public in uncalled for war fares.   Judging from all the experience, it appears our politicians may found a formula to engage in frivolous warfare for some time to come.

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