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KONY 2012: Untold Facts on the Ground – Awareness of Americans is not the Solution Problemsto African

As a Ugandan, I’m implored by my comrades from all over the world to give my perspectives on Kony 2012, a video that has gone viral online, attracting more than 75 million viewers on YouTube alone. Invisible Children, the filmmakers are criticized from lack of accountability to simplifying the 26year old LRA/Kony war in northern Uganda. This noticeable criticism has left many free thinkers wondering what the facts on the ground are.
Kony 2012 in summary is a white charity with 3 Western boys posing as the long-awaited saviors of Africa, exploiting stereotypes of Africa to dig deep into the emotional minds and pockets of Western philanthropies, naively thinking awareness of Americans is the solution to African problems, with little understanding of the ‘real problem’ they’re claiming to solve. Let me elucidate how I arrive to this summary.
Killing Kony isn’t the utmost need – Congo and Somalia are.
 In 2006, UPDF, the Ugandan army conducted military operations that ended Joseph Kony’s guerrilla attacks in northern Uganda without the much allured international attention. Kony with a few remaining rebels were scattered into the thick forests of DR Congo, Central African Republic and South Sudan. In 2008, Operation Lightening Thunder – a military operation destroyed Kony’s  camps in Garamba forests of Congo, rescued 100 child soldiers but Kony managed to escaped with only 260 rebels. Last year in October, the Obama administration sent a team of 100 US troops to track him down. Government recently declared that Kony is no longer an internal security threat to Uganda. One wonders where these groups like Invisible Children were when Kony was killing us.  If these groups are truly helping children, they should campaign to stop wars in Congo and Somalia where thousands of women and children are raped each year – other than flogging a dead horse, Kony.
The Scam behind Western Saviourdom
Tens of thousands of Western charities and NGOs are exploiting pictures and videos of poor African children to fund raise money that never reaches the captured children. Instead, the money is used to buy luxury cars and paying themselves Wall Street salaries. In a much worse incident last year, Action Aid International was taken to the Industrial Court in Kenya for using pictures of ‘poor African children’ online to raise money that was diverted to help prostitutes in Asia.
Invisible Children is one of them. Invisible Children reported revenues of $13.8million last year – aided by a $2million contribution from The Oprah Winfrey Foundation – up from $8.3million a year earlier, according to its Internal Revenue Service filling. Their expenses yielded a surplus of $4.9million. To the shock, transportation expenses totaled more than $1million and $850,000 for film production last year.  Only 31% of its budget went to those intended, according to US Foreign Affairs. Only a half of their budget, if used appropriately, can build thousands of houses for people who were internally displaced due to Kony. Yet they prefer to advance their filmmaking careers other than building houses for those without shelter.
Invisible Children and many other charities continue to exploit misrepresenting videos of nasty poor African kids to dig deep into the emotional minds and pockets of Western philanthropies without doing any meaningful work on the ground. They naively spread the illusion that awareness of Americans is the solution to the problems of Africa and the world. Majority of global citizens are manipulated by Western media into thinking Africa is a poverty war stricken slum dwelling, occupied by helpless rabbit like breeding infidels on the verge of dying of HIV and mosquitoes – who need a foreign savior to survive.  Has that over exaggerated awareness solved any problem for Africa? In fact it scares away tourists and investors.
Solution in Conclusion
Individuals, charities and philanthropies who embody the interests of African people at heart should campaign to hold African leaders accountable for atrocities that occur within their jurisdiction. President Museveni should answer why 50,000 Ugandan soldiers have failed to capture 260 rebels. Overlooking the relevance of African leaderships to seek Western military interventions as Kony 2012 campaign seeks has historical destructive implications. It’s time the world joins African people to liberate our motherland from self-centered corrupt dictators. With the right leadership in power, Africa is capable of solving ALL her problems; ending wars, educating children and protecting the human rights of women and children. Awareness of Americans is not the solution to African problems
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The Government We Want

Speech Delivered at Hotel Africana
National Dialogue on Youth Demands to Next Gov’ts
By Mayambala Mwana W’Afrika
Thank you. Fellow young patriots and distinguished participants, I greet you all in the name of peaceful, free, and fair 2011 elections.
First of all, let me thank the organizers for this wonderful initiative and for according me this opportunity. I’ve  refrained from writing an academic paper, so that I can speak freely in a plain language that can be understood by most Ugandans.
After Uganda’s independence in 1962, our grand fathers thought that their children could then live in a prosperous new nation. That we, their grand children will then live a happy life.
But over 50 years now, there grand children are still suffering. The youth are still moving on the streets looking for jobs that don’t exist. The youth are still living in slums and ghettos which are becoming wider and wider everyday. The youth are still dropping out of universities in failure to cope up with the uncontrollable increase in tuition fees. And many others are merely used by politicians and police forces to kill each other in riots.
Yet many times those who stand up and vigorously fight for their demands are treated as enemies.
For example, Youth Stand Up Campaign recently organized a march to parliament to petition the speaker to extend the registration exercise. The day before, as I was on Radio One news gunning support for our march, the police spokes person Judith Nabakooba was on radios retaliating against our peaceful march with threats of arrest. But we are all aware that liberties are not purchased at a price of comfort zones. And just as Dr Martin Luther King said “A long the way of life an individual must stand up and be counted and be willing to face the consequences what ever they are” We also then decided that whether we shall be arrested, or whether we shall be tear gassed, we must march. Though the police attempted to arrest us along the way, we marched until the registration exercise was extended.
That is not the system that we want. We must all stand up and shout enough is enough to these historical sufferings. Enough to a brutal police. Enough to an expensive education system. Enough to election malpractices. Enough to a country without jobs. We want the new government that will come in power after the 2011 elections to end this misery and transform our country into a land of democracy, development and prosperity.
The government we want, that understands that university students’ loans only are not enough. But also makes education affordable to enable people like my grand mother, who lives 30 miles away from Kampala in Mpigi District to be able to take her two precious grand children to a prestigious university without having to sell part of her land. That government must be willing to revamp the education syllabus to focus more on practical issues that affect our society today. Instead of spending long hours teaching students topics like St Lawrence Seaway, Canadian prairies, the British Empire. When after 50 years of independence we can’t even manufacture a car engine. It must change
The government we want, that provides low interest loans to local manufacturers to set up small industries, knowing that those industries under a business friendly environment will in future transform into big industries that can employ millions. A government that provides tax holidays to local traders instead of foreign traders. Recently, I attended a South African embassy party for World Cup here at Hotel African. I came across a local Hotel owner, who in almost tiers explained to me how tough it is to compete with foreigners who enjoy tax holidays. I strongly believe that there’s nothing that Sudhir or Mukwano or any other foreign trader can do that we can’t do as Ugandans.
The government we want, that instead of sending its troops to Somalia to fight a never ending war that failed the greatest nations on earth. It instead literately arrays its troops to wipe out the terrorist called poverty that is causing millions of death in our society. It instead arrays its troops to wipe the insurgency of corruption that is manoeuvring in government offices.
The government we want, that realises potential in the works of young people. Lets us face the truth. Over 20 million young Ugandans cannot continue to live under a colonial like formation – where they are only passive recipients of political decisions. Young people are denied their natural rights to serve in high offices under the pretext of lack of potential and ability. Don’t you have the potential? Let us face the truth again. On an older John McCain and a younger Barrack Obama, who had the potential to serve as the next U.S. president? Let us face the truth again. On an old guard Minister whose name appears in every corruption scandal and a young MP who every now and then fights corruption in parliament, who has the potential to serve this nation? Let us face the truth.
No Mr. President. No our leaders. Young people also have the potential to serve this nation. We are the majority, who ever is joking with us, we shall wait for him at the ballot box.
Now, I know that so many people are waiting for me to speak about unemployment. Now is the time for us to stop discussing symptoms like unemployment, riots or poverty. And start digging out root causes of these symptoms. When you provide the youth with quality education, then graduates can create jobs on there own. When you support industries, then millions of citizens can be employed as workers. When you promote democracy, free and fair elections then rarely can we have riots on our streets.
These are some of the demands that the next government after 2011 elections must address. These are some of the demands that should be included in the Youth Manifesto.
Now, let us be honest to our selves. Basing on the history of our country where politicians have repeatedly disappointed us from one government to the other. We can’t put a lot of hopes in politicians to fulfill all our demands. In any democracy, citizens become active participants but not passive recipients of politicians’ actions. If we want to see our demands translate into reality, we must stand up, I repeat this, we must stand up and do something about them.
And 2011 elections provide us with the best opportunity for us to once more pressure for our demands. Instead of demanding for material things from political candidates, we should demand for social and political transformation in Uganda.
Instead of demanding for rice, we should demand for a better education system
Instead of demanding for sugar, we should demand for programs of social uplift.
Instead of demanding for soap, we should demand for tax cuts to local businesses
Instead of demanding for salt, we should demand for jobs.
Instead of demanding for kerosene, we should demand that let the Citizens Manifesto and Youth Manifesto be implemented by the next government.
If we want to see this transformation in Uganda flowing like Nile waters. We must stand up and struggle, where need be. Endure the pain, where need be. Get tear gassed, where need be. Go to jail, where need be. And even if it means sacrificing our lives, where need be. Until we see the government we want, the government of the people, by the people, for the people taking shape in Uganda.
Thank you all.

Panel Discussion: Agenda 2011: What Do You Consider the Key Demands Youth Should be Making to the Next Government?
Mayambala – Chairperson, Youth Stand Up Campaign
Mr. Mondo Kyateka – Commissioner Youth, Ministry of Gender.
Hon. Dennis Obua – Youth MP Northern
Mr. Nassa Mukwaya – Chairperson, National Youth Council
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Now Is The Time

Speech delivered at Kati Kati Ground
Kick Starting the Voter Registration Drive
By Mayambala Mwana W’Afrika
Ladies and gentlemen,
Distinguished delegates from political parties,
Distinguished delegates from the international community,
Distinguished delegates from the civil society,
I welcome you all as the chairperson of Youth Stand Up Campaign.
First of all I would like to send special thanks to the people who have made this day a success. I begin by thanking Madam Heather Kashner – the NDI Country Director; she is the unsung hero of this campaign and Mr. Emmy Otim. They have done a lot to ensure that this day is a success. I thank my members on the executive of Youth Stand Up Campaign; YSC is the best youth organization that I have ever seen in Uganda
I therefore thank you all for being here with us today, I know you have toiled a long distance, you have scarified time but you have managed to be here.
A few days ago on radios I heard the Minister for Presidency Beatrice Wabudeya saying that the government is going to train the youth how to be patriotic. I then wondered! Basing on the success that we youth have reached to under Youth Stand Up Campaign. It now has to be our elders to learn from us how to be patriotic. It has to be our elders to learn from us how to set aside political differences and work together as people of one nation. They have to learn from us how to contribute to a noble movement without expecting personal benefits. It has to be them to learn from us.
And as we young men and women of Uganda, leaders of today and tomorrow, from diverse political parties and diverse ethnic backgrounds we are ready to lead Uganda to prosperity, to development, to democracy and we are going to lead it by example.
That is our agenda
We know that in order to lead a country to development, there must be democracy and in order for a nation to reach democracy, there must be free and fair elections. That is why as young men and women we are beginning by encouraging our peers around the entire country to go and register. I know that you are aware that the registration exercise begun yesterday. But the entire public is completely unaware of the ongoing registration exercise. Yesterday I passed by Crested Towers, I saw a man with a small laptop and there was nothing to indicate that he was registering voters. The people around were completely unaware that the person on the laptop was registering new voters. And even for the ten minutes I was there, there was no one registering. The public is unaware on the registration exercise.
This is why we are taking up this responsibility, we are going to move around the entire country, reach out in each and every corner and each and every district to ensure that every one who has to register gets registered as soon as possible.
That is why we urge the youth and the citizens of Uganda at large, to stand up, be the champion, register as voters and exercise your voting rights in the 2011 elections. By strengthening the youth involvement in the democratic process we all can make a better Uganda for ourselves and for our future. We can make it, and I believe that we youth are going to make it.
We have our need as youth in Uganda, and all these needs have to be addressed by politicians. Politicians in power and those who want to be in power, they have to be addressed by Members of Parliament and councilors. All these people have to address our needs and they have to hear them loudly at the ballot box.
Majority of the youth are unemployed. When you move around the streets of Kampala, you will find even University graduates looking for jobs. That is one challenge that affects us. The education system that we have in Uganda was designed by colonialists. It is completely out of date; it cannot suit the employment service demands of the 21st Century.
And all these challenges affect us together as people of one nation, as citizens of Uganda. No matter what political party you come from – whether you come from CP or DP or NRM or the ruling or the opposition these challenges affect us together as people of one nation. No matter what ethnic background that you come from – whether you’re a Mucholi, a Muganda, or a Munyankole or a Musogo, these challenges affect us together as people of one country. 
That is why we need to stand up boldly, we need to stand up boldly and demand for them – demand for more jobs, for a better education system we have to demand for increase in salaries for teachers and the health workers and all these things have to be addressed by our politicians and we can hold them accountable at the ballot box.
We can begin by using our numerical figures to foster democracy in the country. 70% of Ugandans are youth. This is self evident. We are the majority.In next elections 7.5 million voters are young people out of the 13 million expected voters. We are the majority in Uganda we have to exploit that opportunity.If Uganda is to be democratic, that means that we the majority – whenever we speak, whenever we shake, whenever we cry, whenever we dance our voices and actions must be heard cause we are the majority in Uganda. Our voices must be heard and they have to be heard in next elections.Internationally there are various youth movements that have went on successfully. And I know that you are aware of some in South African, Indonesia, Cuba, and Malaysia where young people have managed to reach to certain extent in society. We young men and women in Uganda can also carry out a similar initiative.
Let us not copy what our brothers and sisters in Kenya and Zimbabwe did after recent elections in the two countries – where violence determines future leaders.
Now is the time for the youth to determine the destiny of Uganda through democracy. Our fathers tried wars and violence, coups detach and peace talks but in the end failed. We shall not follow suit.
Now it the time for youth to challenge the skeptics and we are going to challenge them by actions. Youth Stand Up Campaign is one example. We are going to challenge those who believe that we can’t do anything.
Now is the time for the youth to set an example to our elders that people from different political parties, that people form different ethnic backgrounds can work together as people of one nation and achieve a certain noble goal.
And I know that by strengthening our involvement in next elections. By first of all encouraging our peers to go and register that we can make a difference in Uganda.
Thank you very much. Thank you all.
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Human Migration

Human Migration

Picture depicting how human beings migrated out of Africa

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Remind MPs to Include Changing the Education System

Youth MPs are planning to pass our manifested demands in the Youth Jobs Bill, and exclude changing the education system. The current National curriculum is worn-out; it produces more job seekers more than job creators. Uganda Bureau of Statistics (UBOS) states that over 400,000 university students graduate every year, yet only 90,000 access jobs in the same year. We need a new national curriculum that focuses on developing skills to enable graduates to create jobs on their own.

Fellow Ugandans, a country that doesn’t’ invest in quality education doesn’t invest in future. Our future is in the hands of the young generation, with the right education, they will change the world.

Please, meet MPs and request them to include changing the education system as part of the JOBS PLAN.

“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world” – Nelson Mandela

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The Jobs Plan

Last week, a group of Youth Stand Up Campaign members presented a Jobs Plan to Parliament. The Jobs Plan under the subtitle “investing in quality education, technology, agriculture and small scale industries” creates 5million jobs in the short period of 5years. The following are the crucial purposes of the jobs plan (attached below);

1)    Improve the quality of education and develop a skills- oriented curriculum
2)    Empower local small scale industries in the agricultural, technology and entrepreneurship sectors.
3)    Fight corruption, nepotism and misuse of public funds.
4)    Eliminate discriminatory practices that disqualify young people when hiring employees
5)    Create a business friendly environment that guarantees job creation

The Parliamentary Youth Forum (with over 70 MPs) has so far adopted the idea of establishing a central body to deal with unemployment. Come 2012, fresh activities will be conducted to pressure government to implement our plans. We shall NOT STOP until the government addresses our legitimate demands.

Wish you a happy Christmas and a great New Year

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A leader in the African movement and Chairperson of Youth Stand UP Campaign, a movement that unifies youth leaders from eight major political parties in Uganda.