These challenges have contributed to the waning of meaningful youth political participation over the years. Uganda as a country, has very minimal resources for civic education necessary for reaching out to a larger number of the entire population. Limited youth knowledge on their constitutional rights, insufficient leadership and management skills. There is high rate of corruption in Uganda, which contributes to dismal public service and limits educational and employment opportunities for youth. SGD-Uganda undertakes several activities that will enhance students’ participation in the democratic and governance processes and support the efforts of other civil society organizations that are working for free and fair elections. Democratic governance and human rights are critical components of sustainable development and lasting peace.

Since SGD Uganda started its Democracy, Human rights, and Governance work, it has been committed to integrating democracy programming throughout our development work, focusing on strengthening and promoting human rights, access to justice, accountable and transparent governance, and an independent and politically active youth and principally the student community.

SGD Uganda has been working with various human rights based civil societies organizations and the student community to heal communities at conflict; give voice to the powerless; carry out research and monitoring; and assist vulnerable populations to claim their rights. They work to advance all human rights, including the right to development.

Democracy for all

How we actively engage the Student Community in the Democratization Process
  • Identify the leadership and development needs of the student community through a baseline survey and develop appropriate programs response to these needs.

  • Ensure that young people attain the required education, leadership skills to enable them compete in political offices.

  • Identify talented students from different parts of Uganda, who support the democratic aspirations and would sustain it, through the establishment of SGD Uganda chapters/ clubs in the respective institutions of learning.

  • Through training build the capacity of students to participate in the democratization process of their country i.e. constitutionalism, voters education, election monitoring and observation.

  • Mentor young people to become pro-active advocates of transparency and public accountability.

  • Promote civic responsibility and civil culture among Ugandan youth.

  • Promote non-violence culture behavior among Ugandan youth and Peaceful means of settling disputes.

Students for Global Democracy Uganda (SGD-Uganda)’s engagement with the young people especially on the governance and democratic issues has built their capacity to identify and challenge existing power structures, relations and barriers to change while exposing contradictions including biases from the politicians and bureaucracy managing the state and its institutions. The young people and youth reached out by Students for Global Democracy Uganda (SGD-Uganda) over the past years have been empowered and enlightened to act and mobilize others. Young people and youth activism is now on the rise in Uganda bolstered by a broader connectivity and access to social media.

Young people’s and youth’s attitudes towards politicians and bureaucrats appear to hinder their participation in politics, with many viewing them as remote, untrustworthy, self-interested, and unrepresentative of the young people and youth. The young people and youth especially the high school students feel that their excluded from the arena of public affairs, they are often treated as immature and childish, and their views ignored by the adults. Students for Global Democracy Uganda (SGD-Uganda) has observed that the young people’s and youth’s families and peers have a strong influence on their engagement in public affairs, they are unlikely to participate if their families and peers will not approve of such engagements.

There is a strong and a genuine enthusiasm for young people and youth to participate in the democratization processes of Uganda. This has been witnessed in our previous engagements with them. The biggest query among the young people and youth is the negative view of politicians. Many of the young people and youth feel that politicians do not address issues that matter to these young people and youth.

There is also relatively lack of political education in many high schools. Students especially in high schools feel that schools should provide them with sustainable platforms to engage with politicians and duty holders or bearers. That these sessions would give students an opportunity to ask their leaders and public officers a variety of questions and also get to know them better. There is increasing demands to access to information.