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The rich sitting on a “ticking timebomb” if young people aren’t supported. They will hit back soon, Tayebwa tells Commonwealth conference

Deputy Speaker Thomas Tayebwa addressing a Commonwealth business forum in London

LONDON – The Deputy Speaker of the Ugandan Parliament, Thomas Tayebwa, has advised leaders in developing nations to invest in young people through quality education for all and decent work.

Speaking at the 2023 Commonwealth Business Forum in London, United Kingdom yesterday, Mr Tayebwa, in his keynote address said the reference to the youth as “leaders of tomorrow” is self-defeating and unsustainable in a world dominated by the young people.

He said that countries that dismiss young people as unimportant do so at their peril and they will pay a heavy price. He described youth unemployment as a time bomb and called for concerted efforts to create the required jobs for the young people.

“If you don’t invest in young people, then I don’t know what you’re investing in. You’re not investing in your business. You’re not investing in the future. You’re not investing in sustainability. It can only be sustainable if you invest in a generation that is going to take over,” the Uganda deputy speaker said.

Mr Tayebwa also expressed growing concern about the glaring inequality of incomes in the world.

Quoting figures from the 2022 Global Wealth Report by Credit Suisse, one of the word’s largest services providers,
Mr Tayebwa said 52.5% of the world population now own less than 1.25% of the global wealth.

“When you look at the world population, and the world demographics according to that Credit Suisse report, you will find that only 5% of millionaires are outside North America, Europe, China, and Asia-Pacific region,” he said.

He predicted that Africa will have a quarter of the world’s population by 2050.

“You either invest in the young people, especially in the developing world or they are going to be a problem for you,” he reiterated, warning that the poor people will hit back if they aren’t supported to transform themselves through education and decent jobs.

Tayebwa also said countries will reap immense benefits if they invest heavily in young people’s education, skills, and health.

He said, too few governments are making the necessary investments in young people that would secure their future and that of their societies.

Young people need education. You rather be an educated fool than a clever uneducated person,” he said.

The forum empowers, engages, energises, and envisions global youth in association with the Uganda High Commission in London and the 50th Anniversary of the Commonwealth Youth programme

Dr. Arjoon Suddhoo, Deputy Secretary General of the Commonwealth, called for youth involvement in decision-making, saying the development will foster inclusiveness.

“I think in many of our [Commonwealth] countries, unfortunately, the young people are not present in decision making and that’s a big mistake. We need to get them involved,” he said.

According to the Global Wealth Report by Credit Suisse, a significant chunk of overall global wealth still belongs to the wealthiest parts of the population.

In stark contrast to millionaires, 52.5% of the world’s adults had less than $10,000 in wealth and combined for just 1.2% of global wealth.

Looking ahead to 2027, Credit Suisse forecasts that the share of adults with less than $10,000 in wealth will fall, with more adults moving into the middle and upper-income levels. It’ll be interesting to see if global wealth inequality continues its long-term downward trajectory.

*Where are the world’s millionaires mostly found?*

42%: North America

27%: Europe

16%: Asia-Pacific (ex. China and India)

10%: China

5%: Rest of the World.

Nimisha Madhvani, Uganda’s High Commissioner to the United Kingdom told the Commonwealth Business Forum that President Museveni is a big believer in the youth and said that Uganda looks forward to welcoming Commonwealth Business Forum for partnerships.

“We have 70% of 45 million people who are under 35 years old. So you can just imagine the talent and the partnerships that you can create in Uganda, in East Africa and in the world with each other because there’ll be no borders when it comes to digitalization and the youth,” she said.

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