Let’s empower our youth!

Friday, November 29, 2019

The youth make the biggest demographic bracket, therefore empowering them is the logical option. They need to be engaged in all aspects of society. But that would be impossible if their skills remain undeveloped and if access to finance and jobs remain just a pipe dream.

In many foras youth empowerment has always been one of those ‘feel good’ attention getters to which our politicians are inclined to resort in their public pronouncements as a means of boosting their approval ratings. It widely held notion that youths are cream and future leaders of any country. When we empower our youths, certainly we are empowering our future leaders.

Afterwards, we find ourselves waiting forever for the actualisation of the undertakings that derive from those public pronouncements.

We always argue that a national policy on youth empowerment is nothing if it is not - in the first instance - an initiative that seeks to identify and put in place measures to improve the social, intellectual and material well being of the nation’s young people.

In the recent past, we have seen a large number of the country’s youthful population taking on the Mediterranean route in search for greener pastures in the West. Lack of job opportunities and limited prospects are the main drivers forcing this high number of youths to their dream destination.

Let’s remember famous quotation made by the former United Nations Secretary General- late Kofi Anan that ‘from creating start-ups to igniting revolutions, young people have been toppling the old structures and processes that govern our world. This quote clearly manifests the role of youth in a growing economy and their power to propel national development initiates.

It is an indisputable fact that if the country is to solve the most pressing issues of our time, there is need to tap into the dynamism of youth movements and young social entrepreneurs, for they have the potential to disrupt inertia and be the most creative forces for social change.

‘‘Almost everything that is great has been done by youth.’’

Benjamin Disraeli