In the light of the transitional process in the global development agenda going on worldwide currently, Ban Ki-moon’s words could not be put in any better form. As the world is moving from the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) set in the 2000 to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to be ratified in September 2014, the focus should never deviate from the youth agenda in the whole picture.
To reshape the development agenda for Africa in particular, we cannot afford to sideline the youths who form 65% of the population in the continent. The young people in our beautiful continent have the skills, the creativity, innovations, the energy and the zeal to build their nations. What they lack are policy frameworks to enforce their innovative contributions to national and regional development programmes.
If we are to solve the issue of youth unemployment and poverty in Africa, then the youths must be the focus of our Post 2015 Development Agenda. Not only should we focus on the young people, but we should actively involve them in the policy formulation processes. The youths have solutions to the problems facing our continent; they just need a listening ear and a supportive framework to build their countries.
We the African youths love our continent and are willing and ready to take it to the next economic level. Even as the BIG Dream is Pan-African; with the US and China wooing and fighting over our mother-land Africa, we should not forget the old adage; “Charity begins at home!”
Let us be cautious not to export all our resources to the East and the West at the expense of our own people. Instead, let us join hands to support our youths through policy frameworks and financial structures as they create innovative ideas daily to utilize our natural resources to create wealth for our nations.
My parting shot is simple: “If you want to develop, consult the Baby Boomers and the Generation X; their wisdom and experience you cannot do without. But if you want to develop faster, efficiently and effectively, involve the Generation Y; their energy, creativity, innovativeness and zeal will accelerate the wheels of development.”