Youth perceptions on economic opportunity in northern Uganda

Findings from Acholi and Lango

Since the Juba talks ended in 2008, Uganda’s Acholi and Lango sub-regions have experienced economic growth, particularly in urban centres.

The sub-regions have also reported a near completion of the return process for internally displaced persons (IDPs). While challenges remain, there is evidence that the government’s Peace, Recovery and Development Plan for Northern Uganda (PRDP) has had an impact.

Generating employment to undo the generational challenges imposed on youth by over two decades of conflict has been recognised as a priority by the government, the private sector and development partners alike. However, this is particularly challenging in a context where the level of both formal and informal education remains low.

This report is based on a survey of 1,136 youths who fall under four main categories: IDP returnees, former abductees, ex-combatants and youths who were not displaced. Conducted between June and July 2011, the survey found that youth in Lango and Acholi perceive economic opportunities to mean: (1) having the skills to earn an income; (2) having an income that has a chance of growing; (3) having a livelihood.