All over the world as economic hardships mounts young people are growing increasingly frustrated. With no hope of gainful employment the youngsters are beginning to ask tough questions. They are demanding answers from their governments, but as recent unrest has shown politicians are often found clueless.
Some commentators have chosen to term the the protests ”revolutions” and ”uprisings” surely these can’t be revolutions in real sense. Everyone has seen the problem coming, it is almost like witnessing a train crash in slow motion.One doesn’t need a PhD in political science or social history to gasp the dynamics at play. The message is load and clear; as the number of hopeless youngsters increases at blistering pace, nations must become more responsive to the needs of youths.No country is safe from this grounds well of unrest. From Tunis to Cairo to London, policy makers have been left gasping in despair as young people express raw anger in the most astonishing
Forget the conspiracy theories for a moment there is a common thread running through the violent protests; young people caught up in a spiral of alters hopelessness and despair, lets get it right.Even in the best of times, adolescence is a period of immense uncertainty and apprehension. It is at this volatile stage in life when us young people are struggling to discover ourselves, make vital decisions and embark on a voyage that will profoundly shape our futures.
How a nation harnesses the energy of young people who has bearing not only on individual lives but also on the over-all direction of that society?
In the highly industrialized countries improved standards of living and advanced medical science have ensured a high life expectancy while this is good, it is a double edged sword in the sense that people live longer they work longer, frustrating young adults who must contend with financial recession that has decimated any realistic chances of getting a decent job, making scapegoats out of young people’s legitimate grievances as British prime minister, David Cameron has dangerously done- ”Is not the answer. Cameron a privileged Eton educated millionaire got it total wrong when he blurted; “It’s not about poverty, it is about culture” of-course it was about poverty. But more importantly it is about the glaring inequalities and terrible policies that induce an overwhelming sense of hopelessness in British youngsters.In the developing world the dynamics are somewhat different.
As the proportion of young people increases relative to the entire population this demography presents serious challenges to society.Under these circumstances,it means particular attention must be paid to education, health, employment and recreation needs of that segment of population. When such a huge section of society is ignored or neglected the outcome is horrendous. Effectively, this becomes already a recruiting ground for mischief-makers, some of whom may harbour sinister political ambitions.
In many parts of Africa municipalities struggle with budget deficits, youth community centers are unfairly sacrificed. In most major cities and towns, the councils has stopped funding these centers depriving young people of a platform that previously might have presented them with opportunities for vocational training and leisure, with no were to go the youth’s in our high-density suburbs are forced to loiter the streets, insulting passer-by and eventually graduating to crime. Through seemingly harmless act of shutting down a youth center, a broke or corrupted municipality facilitates the birth of countless hooligans, drunkards, criminals and prostitutes. If councils are too broke to fund the youth centers, surely communities should team up with local government and private sector to come up with alternative funding.
In the area of education many young people are failing to pay fees at tertiary institutions ruining their chances of landing the few jobs available on the formal market.
The sense of despair gripping college students is worrying, they are desperately wanting to leave the continent. The sentiment is same wherever you go but it is deeply ingrained in certain parts of Africa, such as West, East and South-Africa where virtually every “Advanced Level” student openly yearns to leave the continent and study abroad. A large number of these students vow never to return back to their respective countries. Why have we created a society that frustrates it’s young people into seeing little or no value in local opportunities? Do we know the importance of patriotic conviction?
In my beloved Zimbabwe during the fast tracked land redistribution program not enough was done to place young Zimbabweans in the engine of the “revolution” instead politicians took the stage and messed everything up. Did we learn from that?
Youth empowerment is not a matter of cheap slooganeering. It is a strategic necessity and any nation’s existence depend on it.In any revolution program young people should never be reduced to passive recipients of charity, they must be in the driving seat of a certain revolution. Any other “empowerment” that doesn’t live up to this stark reality will not deliver us to the PROMISED LAND.
Governments should facilitate the progress of empowerment rather than spoon-feed people.This way our young people will genuinely be empowered not enfeebled.
The biggest challenge facing every nation today is funding dynamic ways of restoring hope to restless young people.
This article is based on my understanding and opinion, all points raised in this article are not facts.