Youth empowerment for the future

Friday, January 04, 2019

With advances in science and better health care, average life expectancy around the globe has gone up from 30 years in 1800 to 67 in 2005. World population has also risen from a billion in 1810 to 2.5 billion in 1950 and seven billion by 2011.

Population growth has been both boom and bane for the planet, posing opportunities but also challenges for development. Managing population growth is difficult especially for nations where limited resources are far outpaced by the demands of a booming population.

Today the planet has the largest-ever youth generation. Youth empowerment, the UN said, is essential for a sustainable future. Youths account for about 1.8 billion of the global population. Many of them are mired in poverty, vulnerable to abuse and living in circumstances that violate their human rights.

The Gambia like in most developing countries, the benefits of economic growth have failed to trickle down to the masses. Official figures show that economic growth in recent years hardly made a dent in poverty. Economic growth cannot keep up with the needs of an exploding population. The consequences are evident in the continuing exodus of young Gambians for better opportunities overseas, and in urban blight, coupled with worsening in key cities around the country.

Looking at the country today, there is need to put our collective efforts together so as to foster integration and achieve meaningful result. It is a hard fact that no meaningful development can take place if there is disunity among the people in any society especially among its youth.

National development as we as know is the ability of a nation to improve the lives of its citizens. And the extremity of all national development is to enhance the lives of the citizens within the context of a growing economy.

Government must at all courses include the youths in decision making processes especially the ones affecting their lives.

Guest Editorial