4 ways Africa can prepare its youth for the digital economy

By Weforum.org (Simbarashe Moyo)

More than ever, it is vital for Africa to prepare her youth for the digital economy and the future of work. The World Development Report 2019 notes that the labour market of the future will require new skills including digital fluency, creative thinking, problem-solving, collaboration, empathy and adaptability. With these new demands in place, it would be remiss of Africa not to strengthen her biggest asset: the youth who make up around 60% of the continent’s population.

Appropriate action will help the continent to harness this promising demographic dividend. Furthermore, a proactive stance is likely to reduce the risk of massive labour substitution and endemic unemployment, while enabling the continent to leverage the new entrepreneurial and economic opportunities associated with the digital economy.

Although countries like Rwanda and Kenya are already making considerable progress in preparing their youth for the digital economy and the future of work, more African countries are yet to take meaningful action to address the yawning skills-gap and digital infrastructure inadequacies bedevilling the continent. Here are four strategies African nations should use to prepare their youth for the digital economy and the future of work:

1. Creating responsive education systems

This entails reviewing and updating the education curricula at primary, secondary and tertiary levels. Equipping youth with technical skills like digital fluency will empower them to assume responsibilities like coding and virtual designing, which will be in demand in the digital economy. Other African nations might draw lessons from Kenya’s Secondary School Practical Open-source Curriculum (SPOC) which is training high school students to code. In addition, soft skills like creativity and adaptability will enable young people to thrive in a fast-paced digital economy in which employment will likely be more about brief online tasks than long-term onsite jobs.

2. Formulating policies for the digital economy

Given the uncertainties of the technological revolution and the consequent susceptibility of the digital economy to cyber-crime and monopolies, African nations must formulate regulatory policies that keep stakeholders in check. Such policies will help to create an environment in which young people’s digital enterprises can grow, and in which appropriate education and employment opportunities will be accessible to all young people. Policies that promote life-long education in organisations are also critical in helping our youth easily adapt to volatile environments. In addition, formulating digital policies is vital for African nations to guard against situations where young people are the perpetrators or victims of data theft and invasion of privacy, among other ethical issues plaguing the digital space. African nations should, however, be careful not to stifle creativity, innovation and warranted freedoms in this process of regulating the digital economy.

3. Expanding digital infrastructure

Developing nationwide digital infrastructure, especially fibre optic networks, and improving access to electricity and digital devices may help to improve connectivity within African nations. This will enable more young people, including those in rural areas, to access high-speed internet as they acquire and utilise new skills – thereby alleviating inequalities and optimising shared prosperity in a digital economy. The Icyerekezo broadband satellite launched by Rwanda in February this year is a good example of expanding digital infrastructure – and which can be emulated by other African nations. Expanding digital infrastructure is particularly important because, compared to other continents, Africa has the poorest internet connectivity.

4. Optimising public-private cooperation

Collaboration between governments, multinational development banks and the private sector will create room for innovative financial models which promote upskilling among Africa’s youth. This will also reduce inequalities caused by duplication of efforts, especially when establishing digital infrastructure in African nations. Public-private cooperation will therefore enable more young Africans to access training programmes and digital infrastructure.

If African nations do adopt the above-outlined strategies, they will enhance the chances of Africa’s youth to prosper in the digital economy and the future of work. With a well-prepared young population, it will be possible for Africa to leapfrog into prosperity and make progress towards achieving the African Union’s Agenda 2063 programme, which aims to transform Africa into a global powerhouse. Implementing the proposed strategies will, however, require genuine political will and unwavering commitment on the part of African governments and their citizens.

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How can young people secure a better future for Africa?

By Weforum.org Gerald Chirinda

With 70% of Africa’s population under the age of 30, we as a continent are presented with a great opportunity and, possibly, a great challenge. Young Africans today are taking actions that not only have an immediate impact, but will also determine the future of the continent for decades to come.

Never has there been such weighty responsibility on the shoulders of young people. Never has there been the influence in the hands of young people like the influence they carry now. But for Africa to reap the dividends she has longed for, it is up to our generation to make sure that influence is channelled correctly and directed towards relevant issues that affect not only ourselves, but generations after us. This can only be achieved if we come together as young people and begin to address the challenges before us as a continent.

The role of African youth is drastically changing, but so are some of the challenges we face, such as employability and entrepreneurship opportunities. The strength of any society is within the strength and resolve of its youth – what investment are young people making in our continent today?

In the past 6 months, I’ve listened to the argument stating that we have spent more time focused on what’s happening in other continents, like the US presidency, and less on local issues. I have had the privilege of being invited to speak at different platforms across Africa and have met and engaged with fellow young people who know less about my country Zimbabwe but more of what’s happening in the US and in Europe, and these discussions brought us to a conclusion that as a continent we have not done a good job in telling our own stories, both good and bad, affecting our people. (Could you tell us a bit about your background here – in what capacity are you listening to these arguments?) There are important matters such as the thousands of lives of fellow Africans lost at sea when trying to leave the continent for greener pastures, youth unemployment, gross mismanagement of government institutions and resources, xenophobia among our own people and the general restlessness and frustrations of young African people.

There’s no problem with us engaging in discourse at a global level, but I feel it is important for us to exert more of our time and energy on issues that affect our continent and our people. I believe if we, as youth, don’t take ownership and responsibility for our problems and challenges, we run the risk of allowing other nations, organizations and institutions to do so on their terms. My question to fellow young Africans is are we creating a future in which generations after us can be confident?

A lot has been said about Africa and its rise in the past few years. For this to be true, I believe it requires its people to also rise and drive the agenda, not wait for instruction or direction from other nations. If this doesn’t happen, Africa may still rise, but only for those with an agenda for the continent. This then begs me the question of fellow young Africans: what is our agenda, and what are we doing to shape that agenda?

With regard to employability, according to the African Development Bank report, by 2050 Africa will be home to 38 of the 40 youngest countries in the world, with median populations under 25 years of age. This will result in an estimated 10-12 million new people joining the labour force each year. These statistics clearly indicate that a considerable amount of investment must go into human development to unlock a demographic dividend. What innovative policies and programmes do we, as young people, want to make sure that this happens and that this growth will not result in a demographic time bomb for Africa?

With the Fourth Industrial Revolution upon us and the rate at which technology is advancing it is critical that we have a sufficiently educated and skilled workforce to be able to drive Africa in this direction. There is currently a mismatch between industry demands and the education curriculum. Education institutions need to update their curricula to align with the direction in which the world and Africa are going. If we ignore this, our young people will have irrelevant qualifications that the continent will be unable to benefit from.

It is worrying to note the rate at which young educated Africans are leaving to seek more opportunities abroad. The grass is not always greener on the other side, however, as leaders of other nations are also facing domestic challenges and therefore not prioritizing immigrants. If our educational institutions can include entrepreneurship as a mandatory subject at all levels of education, more young people will be better equipped to create jobs and address the issue of high unemployment.

I am a strong advocate for local solutions to local challenges, but for this to happen, we need to encourage and cultivate innovation among our youth. It is encouraging to note that there are pockets of this already taking place across the continent, where we can see uptake and use of locally-designed technology. More of this needs to happen across the board, covering the different sectors of our economies, as Africa still lags behind the rest of the world when it comes to introducing disruptive technology. Human development is about creating opportunities and building a person’s ability to innovate and be entrepreneurial. Significant investment needs to go towards this.

With the growth of the continent, it only makes sense for us to industrialize in order to be less reliant on importing products for consumption from outside the continent. According to the African Economic Outlook 2017 report, Africa’s growing population is expected to generate a rise in consumer spending from $680 billion in 2008 to $2.2 trillion in 2030. This increased spending has the potential to lead to greater prosperity.

The growth in Africa’s population presents a huge opportunity for entrepreneurial innovations and ideas to be implemented. It does, however, require strong political will to enable the right environment to be created to encourage these ideas and for entrepreneurs to be supported in their different stages of growth, from start-up, early stage and growth stage right through to becoming large corporations.

As you may notice, this article asks more questions than it provides solutions. The best way for us to answer these is if we begin to engage in conversations and dialogue amongst ourselves as young Africans and see what solutions we can come up with for a better Africa. We spend time complaining about poor leadership in our countries, but my final question is: are we ourselves prepared to succeed the generation that precedes us?

Let us intentionally create a culture that encourages the building and shaping of the Africa that we want. The change we want begins with us coming together and developing our own culture and value system for thinking, planning, implementation, accountability, integrity and collaboration. It is up to us as young Africans to shape the narrative of our continent. Let us begin to do so, in every sphere of society.

Opinion: Fasihah Hasan: Angry youth will save SA

By Citizen.co.za (Simnikiwe Hlashaneni)

Millenials have a more urgent and immediate purpose to change what is wrong in South Africa.

‌Young radicalism is the future of democratic social justice, if the new wave of young political activists becoming lawmakers is anything to go by.

And for “born-free” politician Fasihah Hassan, who was acclaimed for her role during the nationwide youth revolt for free tertiary education, an angry and impatient youth is the best thing for South Africa’s democracy.

Born to United Democratic Front (UDF) activist parents at the dawn of democracy in 1994, Hassan says she and her peers have a different and necessary perspective on the ills that face the country. It’s the more urgent and immediate sense of purpose that drove the #FeesMustFall movement.

“The world is not a fair place and it’s our job to make it more fair. But once you understand that the world is unfair you understand that all that anger you have is important, but it needs to be channelled,” she says.

‌Speaking just days before her inauguration as an ANC member of the Gauteng legislature, Hassan says making the transition from student activist to politician, to policy maker has not been an easy road to travel.

“It has been a long and difficult journey which people don’t see. People see the front of the house. They don’t see what’s going on behind the scenes back in the kitchen, so to speak. But I seriously believe the kind of student activism we were doing before and during #FeesMustFall has played a huge role in shaping how I think and deal with the issues.”

As an ANC Youth League branch leader herself, Hassan is not afraid to criticise the organisation that moulded her, saying it was necessary for change in the ANC to be driven from within.

“The difficulty with the older generation is that they see the issues, but they would rather only bring it up internally. Whereas with us, as much as we have a sense of belonging in the ANC, it doesn’t prevent me from criticising where I have seen wrong.”

And with the layers and layers of internal structures, age groups and the gender factor, a young woman might not have risen so quickly into leadership in the ANC 10 years ago, but the ANC elders are beginning to hear young people, Hassan says. She admits that some of the youth disillusionment at the ANC evidenced in the last two elections could be attributed to the weakening of the ANCYL over the past decade.

However, she says channels for young people to be heard within the mother body have improved and have put young women in more meaningful platforms, such as the Young Women’s Desk.

#AfricaDay: Africa Home to Vast Opportunities for South American Youth

By iol.co.za (PHUMLA WILLIAMS)

We continue to see the role of media and communication as central to what we all are striving for in the continent.

We owe it to ourselves to make the continent a success story. The more we trust each other with direct investments the more we are likely to grow and attract foreign direct investments to our continent.

There is something poetic in the fact that South Africa’s Presidential inauguration falls on 25 May, which is also Africa Day. On this day in 1963 all independent African states set aside their differences to form an organisation now known as the Organisation of African Unity (OAU).

South Africa was one of the last nations to join this organisation which then became the venue for the birth of the African Union in 2002.

In the midst of organising the Presidential inauguration, Government Communication and Information System hosted an African Press Attachés Round Table on 22 May 2019 at Tshedimosetso House, the seat of government communication.

This gathering was in line with the resolutions of the African Union Specialised Technical Committee on Communication and ICT which, amongst others, seeks to promote the work and achievements of integration and inter continental trading as Africans.

This engagement brought together Africa’s Press Attachés and editors from across the African continent based in South Africa, as well as press officers under the AU banner.

As we reflected on the continents priorities, we noted how far we have come.

The dramatic rise of African members states as a significant trading block to our country, overtaking Europe in 2013 and on par with Asia since 2014, is a clear indication that South Africa’s prosperous future is intertwined with the continent’s future.

The economic adviser to President Cyril Ramaphosa, Ms Trudi Makhaya illustrated how InvestSA is actively collaborating with Investment Promotion Agencies on the continent and have signed Memoranda of Understanding with the Kenyan Investment Authority, the Uganda Investment Authority and GAFI in Egypt.

The intention is to foster closer collaboration between these agencies in attracting Foreign Direct Investments to the continent.

Our commitments to the vision of Pan Africanists including, Nkhrumah of Ghana, Julius Nyerere of Tanzania, Sekou Toure of Guinea and Kenneth Kaunda of Zambia, find voice in the growing partnerships between fellow nations on the continent. The implementation of this vision is well illustrated by a series of developments across Africa.

Ms Makhaya informed us that intra-Africa Investments have been growing at a compound rate of 32.5%. This is impressive! Africa’s rising population market of 1.2 Billion people is compelling, our story of an integrated Africa with a gross domestic product of more than US$ 3.4 trillion is remarkable.

We as African communicators ought to tell the stories, and inform our youth of the vast opportunities that are available across Africa.

Knowledge is power and this was reflected in the presentation of Mr Thulani Mavuso, the Acting Director-General of Home Affairs, on innovations which promote and ensure that Africans have free movement to trade, to study and to live in South Africa. The web based e-Home Affairs system is truly easy, efficient and secure. These interventions have now improved the facilitation of people, movement and goods, making it easier for African Tourists, business and academia to come to South Africa.

During the interaction discussions focussed on the important role that communicators, in partnership with the media can play to shape perceptions of our continent. In today’s world, perception has a price.

What is perceived to be real often takes on a life of its own and if we do not promote our continent, its virtues and opportunities we risk opening the door and allowing misperceptions to take hold.

As we commemorate Africa Day with President, Cyril Matamela Ramaphosa we should take pride in our achievements as a continent whilst bearing in mind that more needs to be done to realise the full vision of the founding fathers of the AU.

Since its formation, the African Union has strived to build a better, more united and prosperous continent.

The organisation has shifted its focus to ensure economic emancipation and socio-economic development in Africa. It currently leads the promotion of regional and market integration that will see the lowering of transport costs, enable the free movement of goods, services and people, and encourage the optimisation of resources.

We dare not rest until all who call Africa home are empowered to build a better tomorrow, free from injustice, inequality and unemployment.

Opinion: Nigerian Youths Need Value Re-Orientation – Ajibare

By Independent.ng (Popoola Yaqoub)

Tosin Ajibare Gold was the youngest gubernatorial candidate in the July 14 Governorship Election in Ekiti State .The 36 year-old flagbearer of the Independent Democrat Party in this interview with YAQOUB POPOOLA, he spoke on developments in the state.Excerpts:

You contested the last Governorship Election in Ekiti State. What was your experience like?

Yes i did, it was a wholesome experience, with daunting, challenges, but at the same time fulfilling. It was putting everything online for what i believed in and it was worth it. The experience and additional knowledge gathered is something that cannot be acquired within any walls or by tale bearing. It was tough and at the same time encouraging, One experiences the very best of people and the supposedly worst, it was like a check and balance thing and a trial of ones beliefs, values and conviction.

Going by the outcome of the results .Would you say that you are betrayed by the youths?

Not in any way, if there was any betrayal, I think it was to the youth themselves My candidacy and campaign was about our reality and our salvation, my ability to deliver the salvation was not in question, but since it’s about all of us, each and every one has his or her part to play. By the grace of God, I played my own part against all odds, they also played their own part, we all get to bear the consequences of our individual actions.

Since my standing up to give the youths a voice is not about my personal interest, I believed i was not in any way betrayed.

The issue of unemployment is like a synonym to youths, the high cost of living is general knowledge, we all knew what was at stake and we made our choice. It’s not about me; it’s about us and our future.

The involvement of youths in crime and corruption both at home and in the diaspora has reached an alarming proportion.What would you suggest as solution?

This issue gives us constant and continuous headache, and the most unfortunate aspect is that it seems like those at the helms of affairs fail to see the trend for what it really is, “the damnation of a future we are yet to enter”

As part of the solutions, there is need for an intensive value re-orientation campaign across board, aimed at awakening lost virtues and encourage positive values, a campaign so intensive that it would be akin to a political campaign for an executive position. Also there is need to nip these things at the bud and by so discourage it but most times we just look on until the snake has grown big enough to swallow a whole human being, that’s when we now term it as dangerous. An example of this is the Yahoo Yahoo trend. Even up till now focus is still on the fruits while we keep looking at the roots despite being exposed on top soil.

Also there is need to put up a definitive stance against vices, this issue has gone overboard.

What led you into youths activism?

The knowledge of what our society should be versus our present reality.The knowledge of what contributions youths can make in creating a better society as against the way talents are been wasted through negligence.

Youths are a blessing to any Nation; the period of youthfulness should be harnessed not wasted. I got really involved when i decided i have had enough of the phrase “the richest place is the graveyard because so many people are buried there with their potentials”.

My generation will not die with her potentials, in fact when we die, we want to die empty, having exhausted all our potentials and ideas to the betterment of this Nation and the World.

You are collaborating with other youths organisation of value reorientation .What informed this action ?

The extent of decadence in our society, we came to a conclusion that only a better people can bring about a better nation.

Tears of the Nigerian youths

By Thenationonlineng.net (Ogu Chukwuebuka Kizito)

Waking up just like every other good Nigerian with a thankful heart to God for gift of life. He hopes that it will be a better day for him. With so much aspirations and yet unfulfilled dreams he sets out for the days task. Praying that each day brings him closer to his dreams. As time passes him by without realisation of his dreams, he becomes a shadow of his true self.

Countless times, he has looked for a better life, a better day in his father land without success. Always coming home with a disappointed face and when he can’t hold it anymore. shouts; ‘ where will my help come from?’; if only I were a German , or a Canadian, or a French, or even one of those refugees in Europe, maybe my life will be better and more fruitful than this ‘ he cries.

This is the cry of the young, Nigerian who has not found succor in his life, though everyday he struggles. In every job opportunity, the chances of being employed is one out of 50,000 or even more as he had no Godfather or money to protect his interests.

It seems as if the system was created for him to suffer in his youth. Countless times he has heard people say that the youth is the future of tomorrow, especially during a political outing, he knew that the adage did not work in his country.

So much promises by the politicians and he had already deduced that it will take a lifetime or a century for such promises to be fulfilled. The promise heaven and earth to the unhappy Nigerian youth into voting for them and when voted, turn to their real color. Give me my daily bread oh lord, he prays each time he falls into this bad mood. For at a time, he doesnt care what is happening around him, all he craves for is a daily bread.

It is a country where dreams rarely come true. Is it so much to ask for that? The say shoot for the stars and maybe you will land in the moon, but those words are the really feasible here?

For many young men and women have tried but only found themselves in the cloud and some never made it out of the atmosphere let alone the stars, while others are still on the land waiting for an opportunity. Do you not see these young Nigerians?

However, the Nigerian youth whom after being frustrated at their fate in their father land have sought for greener pasture in unknown countries and yet the receive criticism and condemnation.

Young men and women of high intelligence quotient and creative mind have been whisked off from the shores of this country when discovered by other countries and are never given a chance to play a part in their country’s development. Frustration and suffering have chased many out of the country, many have turned to criminal activities and yet many more are present, waiting for an opportunity to shine to the world.

Will this opportunity not be provided for this young people? For Nigeria holds the best brains in the world, but what is its use, if it’s not harnessed? What will happen to a young sprouting plant if it cannot be planted on a soil and carefully cultivated? She withers and dies.

Nevertheless, with what is happening in our country today, it’s quite disheartening to know that much has not changed in this country. It seems that things keep getting more complicated as the only solution to our problems is by creating more problems.

With so much teeming young people, few are lucky and yet many are left to rot and die. A country endowed with so much riches and abundance of minerals , she has used them as seen fit for the populace and yet little or nothing have been put in place for these young people who want to serve their fatherland with all their heart.

Many are hopelessly roaming the streets asking themselves “what did I ever commit for being a part of my country? For suffering have turned once young and vibrant men, old men. Year after year, millions graduate from higher institutions only to come to the realization that the reasons for going to school have changed. One frustrated youth is a ticking time bomb let alone when the country is over flowing with them.

Finally, all hands must be on deck for the prognosis of this ailment. This youth who are your sons and daughters should be inculcated into the day to day activity of the nation. Opportunities should be created to suck up these unhappy men and women for a better Nigeria. Different medium should be used to help this young people play a part in their countries development. For If action is not taken to remedy this problem, its only chaos that will be eminent in our future and like a pregnant woman , only time will tell what she will give birth to. Doom, doom, doom, is what awaits a country with no planes for the future generations.

Yes everybody wants better life, better economy, and better means of earning money but do not forget that a nation that has no plan for the future generation is going to be a failed state.

Nigeria: YOUTHS’ QUEST FOR A NEW ORDER

By Thewillnigeria.com (Jerome-Mario Utomi)

In the words of Buzz Hargrove, a Canadian Labour leader, the future strength of every nation depends on its young people as their generation will provide the next leaders.

Given this preceding position, it will not be an overstatement to characterize the recent gathering of about four thousand Nigerian youths at Ikeja, Lagos where they among other things condemned youth’s involvement in criminal activities and demanded good governance from our leaders.

Essentially, aside from expressing their grievances about youth’s involvement in criminal acts such as; drug abuse, murder, insurgency militancy, armed robbery, participants at the event which was put together by the Catholic Youths Organization of Nigeria (CYON) ,Catholic Archdiocese of Lagos, and had as topic; Drug and Criminality among Our Youths; Mortgaging Our Future, were not particularly happy with governments attitude of clarifying problems without providing solutions- a state of affairs that prepares the ground for the leaders inability to provide good education, employment opportunity and security for its citizenry.

From commentaries, the frustration of these young victims of our nation’s socioeconomic challenge was not only fueled by the gap between the extravagant promises made in the past by the Government and its high unfulfillment, but predicated on the Government’s timidity in implementing policies that will create jobs for the teaming unemployed Nigerians and curb corruption that has become both nepotistic and supportive in outlook.

As we know, while ‘nepotistic corruption involves unjustified and often unqualified appointment of friends or acquaintances to public offices in violations to the established norms (federal character), supportive corruption on its parts refers to actions undertaken to protect the existing or already done corrupt practices particularly when the person(s) involved belong to the same group or party.

Certainly, these move by the youths to help install a new order is admirable and deserve our praise particularly when one remembers that the latest data released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) indicates that Nigeria’s unemployment rate may reach an all time height of 33.5% by 2020.

And there is something else.

The action of these youths has again brought to the fore the ills that flows from bad leadership but overshadowed by other events.

To explain; today, it is accurately documented that many Nigerian children are out of school not because they are not willing to be educated but because the cost of education is beyond the reach of their parents. The public schools are short of teachers with dilapidated buildings. The private schools on the other hands where the environment is conducive for learning is cost intensive.

Scholars have also argued that leadership crisis in Africa as a continent has its origin in a time-honoured tradition of leading without recourse to transparency and accountability. Which as a consequence, ‘stifles development, siphons all scarce resources that could improve infrastructure, bolster education system and strengthen public health and stack the deck so high against entrepreneurs that they cannot get their job creating ideas off the ground’.

This ‘ghastly account’ further supports what the youth’s suggests; that we have a duty to deliver our nation from leadership “snares and delusions”.

But, considering the fact that we are in a nation where tribal loyalty is stronger than our common sense of nationhood, can the youth effectively gird their courage?

How far can the youths go as change-agents in a country where excruciating poverty and starvation continues to drive more people into the ranks of beggars, whose desperate struggle for bread renders them insensible to all feelings of decency and self-respect?

In a society where the majority of the youths can easily be induced to work across purpose; and in political space where high density of the youth’s population reside in various villages with no access to information or livelihood, Can they truly create any impact?

The answers to the above beginning with last lies in a scholarly report which stated thus; youths coming from the extreme rural or tribal background are placed at a severe disadvantageous position because of their traditional background, limited exposure and orthodox believe.

Even if the tribal and limited exposure challenge is solved, statistics has made it abundantly clear that the greatest weakness associated with youth related gatherings is their inability to remain united for every long time.

This fears cannot be described as unfounded as what played out during the 2019 general election remains a pointer to the reality that majority of our youths are ready to compromise their position for pecunary gain .

However, confronted with this condition, the youths must recognize that to produce change, they must be organized and work together in their units of powers

Another popular erroneous belief advanced by the supporters of the government that Nigerians must face actual and potential difficulties since there is no easy way to create a nation where each has his own job and house, and where all children receive as much education as their minds can absorb, is not only ‘rationally inexplicable but morally unjustifiable’.

It is a fact that government lacks capacity to fix socioeconomic challenges alone. But any government with goodwill and sincerity to save and serve the people must develop creative and innovative channels to promoting sustained and inclusive economic growth, social development, environmental protection and job creation.

Talking about the youth unemployment in Nigeria, ‘we are in daring state of strait because unemployment has diverse implications. Security wise, large unemployed youth population is a threat to the security of the few that are employed. Any transformation agenda that does not have job creation at the center of its programme will take us nowhere’

Very instructive also, a point we must not fail to remember is that the solution to corruption is invariably the solution to poverty and must start with public enlightenment and education of individuals and the public on the importance of rejecting corrupt practices.

Finally, while we await these politically skillful youths to bring a new order in our slow economy but high population growth nation, the present administration must recall that ’the way that leads to future termination of corruption is the correction of past corruption, For when it is known that those who cheated did not get away with it, prospective cheats should think twice before embarking on the negative venture’

Nigeria:Our Youths Are No More Ambitious –Salamatu

By Woman of Substance with Oluremi Adeoye

Dr Salamatu Atinuke Ajede, our woman of substance this week, is a lecturer at the Tai- Solarin University of Education. She is also the Olori of Oba Isiaka Olajide Ogirimadagbo- Akin Ilodo Ijebu Mushin Early life

We are from Ilorin but I was born in Warri. My father was the chief imam of Warri. I attended Cavajina Primary School Warri, before we moved back to Ilorin in 1976. This was because my dad was getting old and he wanted to go back home. I completed my primary school education in Ilorin and went on to Queen Elisabeth School, Ilorin. On graduation from the school in 1985, I proceeded to Kwara College of Technology, which is now Kwara State Polytechnic for my A-levels. I got married after my A- levels and the same year I got admitted into the University of Lagos through direct entry. I studied sociology and graduated in 1990. After my national youth service programme, I went for my master’s degree. While I was doing that, I was assisting my husband at work. He is a Mechanical Engineer by profession. It was about that time that he was also called upon to move back to Ijebu after the former Oba’s demise. He was elected to take over from the former Oba. So we moved back to Ijebu in 1994 and he was crowned as the first crown Oba of Ilodo with full status on the 4th of January 1997.

Royalty

There is a lot of difference from our former lifestyle. Royalty has so many complications too many requirements, so many things attached to it. You don’t have privacy, the very vital part of it is that you have to be very accommodating at all times, not minding your inner feelings, even when you are down you must always put up a cheerful and accommodating face. One thing about the palace is that the gates must always be open. So many visitors, there are always visitors. People will always come in for one thing or the other and you are expected to be accommodating. There is usually an endless need to provide food and drinks, entertainment at all times. At times we entertain people till as late as 12 mid-night or even 1am, until the last person leaves or retires.

It also has the good sides, but it’s a very demanding life style. The Olori (Queen) has a whole array of responsibilities towards the town; towards the King, the Chiefs and towards the women in the community. No matter how young an Olori is she automatically becomes the mother of all in the community, the women and even children. She is seen as a role model to guide the women as well as to mentor the children of the community.

Philanthropy

After my husband ascended the throne, the first thing I realized was that there’s so much poverty in the rural places, so many old people are suffering. With my husband’s support I set up the women’s wing of the Iludun Association, to cater for the needs of the women and the children of the community. Later in partnership with Justice Development and Peace Commission (JDPC) of the Catholic Church, we set up the Egbe Omo Obirin reere. I later set up my own NGO, ‘Empowerment of Women, Youth Development, Care and Rehabilitation of the Aged (CEWOY CARA) it was established in 2001 in Ilodo Ijebu Imusin.

However, my major priority area is the care of the aged. Over the years on a quarterly basis, we have earth and awareness day celebration in conjunction with many pharmaceutical companies. They have been very helpful, Mopson Pharmaceuticals, Fidson Pharmaceuticals, Safety Health Drugs and of course The Eye Foundation. Dr Sam of The Eye Foundation has been of very helpful. Most times they give us free eye glasses for old people. We get drugs from Mopson to give to nursing mothers and the aged and the women in the community, including the children. This has been going on since 1997. Initially it was quarterly, then it became an annual thing but now it is bi-annual because of the economy.

In the last four years many of the pharmaceutical companies have not been forthcoming with their assistance with drugs and because of the exchange rates, drugs have become so expensive.

Be that as it may, from my little earnings I get some drugs buy at discounted rate at the pharmaceutical companies and with assistance from the Eye Foundation we have kept on. In the last seven or eight years, we introduced the welfare aspect where we give items to the needy, items like clothing, working equipment like ovens and so many others from time to time

In this area, so many of our friends have been so helpful. The Omojolas and the Omolayoles have been so helpful. I have a very good friend and sister too, Olori Khadijat Taylor, she has the KHADTAY group of companies, she has been very helpful too. A wonderful philanthropist, the Ambassador Folake Marcus Bello, has also been helping our foundation. Otunba Kunle Hassan of Eye Foundation has been very wonderful. Of course I mustn’t forget my school, Tai Solarin University of Education where I lecture, the health center of the school has been very helpful. The medical director of the center in particular has been very supportive which is why we gave him an award recently. He has been the one providing us with doctors whenever we want to do check- ups, like sugar level and BP level.

Youths

The youths are no longer as ambitious as they used to be. So many of them are now lazy especially when it comes to reading and doing research. When we were in secondary school, we used to line up at the library to collect books and novels to read.

The reading culture has really deteriorated. I think the advent of mobile phones and the internet is partly responsible for that. Most times you find them fiddling with their phones.

What should have been an advantage for them because they now have more access to more information that we never had, they are misusing. They are not making use of the facilities and opportunities open to them.

They should be up and doing. At my center, we also have the youth development department where we counsel our youths on how to build viable careers.

Source Leadership Nigeria

Three ways the youth can act to make South Africa a better place

By Unéné Gregory

In anticipation of next week’s general elections, we have been bombarded with manifestos from political parties, all making promises we have come to realise they will never fulfil. As with all African countries, the majority of South Africa’s population is under the age of 30, with about 36% under 25. That’s a lot of people who are eligible to vote; people who have grown up knowing the struggle of our past and the failed promises of our current government.

We are painfully aware of the challenges facing our country and our generation, yet we sometimes also feel powerless to make a tangible difference.
The various challenges we face — ranging from a lack of ethical and knowledgeable leadership, to unemployment and being unable to access opportunities to become contributors to our country — all seem insurmountable.

But even in these tumultuous times, when there seem to be few options in the way of viable alternatives to governance, we cannot afford to stand idly by and not use our voting power.

Three things that could be implemented to make our country a better place are:

1. Introduce mandatory military service and volunteering

Before you dismiss the idea, let me explain. Among the numerous debates, articles and political analyses on the current state of South Africa, one of the many key points that have been raised is the lack of ethical and responsible leadership. This is coupled with an attitude of entitlement. The right to access certain things, such as housing and education, have been confused and defined as something owed to the masses.

Mandatory military service or volunteering to work in rural hospitals or schools would be a means of serving one’s country. Rather than serving the purpose of training a large army reserve, as is the case in some of the other 26 countries that have such a programme, it would serve as a reminder that we are all in this together. Introducing a one-year programme for males and females aged 18 to 30 would do wonders for our country and the people involved.

It would, hopefully, instil a sense of patriotism, belonging and pride within our youth — the next generation that will be tasked with leading this nation. It will also, hopefully, foster more ethical leadership and allow us to keep each other accountable for the success (or failure) of this nation.

2. Education for entrepreneurship

Instead of waiting for the government to conjure up employment for millions of talented and intelligent people (which is impossible), or looking to big business to absorb the scores of graduates in our country – which, given the number of layoffs globally, is a bleak prospect – we could shift our mindsets from one of employee to one of creator.

This could take the form of a non-graded course for grade 10 and 11 learners. It would benefit us as a nation to train our youth to identify and exploit opportunities around them, both locally and internationally. It could encourage them to take a mental shift from working towards finding a job to working for themselves. This is when initiatives, such as support for small and medium enterprises, can begin making a tangible difference.

Globally, the 9 to -5 work day is dying a slow death. It’s being replaced by more freelance work. Such a shift requires transitioning from just wanting to show up and get paid, to adding value to others, which then leads to one getting paid.

Yes, entrepreneurship is not for everyone. It doesn’t have to be. Equally, we need to teach our citizens how to be self-reliant and, in so doing, also support them along the way, hopefully making a dent in our current unemployment rate of 27.5%. We need to turn the tide of our SMEs, which currently only account for approximately 30% of the country’s GDP, and change the percentage to one that better mirrors the global trend of 60% – and employing 60% to 70% of a country’s workforce.

3. TV shows that celebrate public service heroes

Let us celebrate the good that some of people in the public service do. It is important to celebrate those who go above and beyond in executing their duties, those that put in the time and effort to make sure we are all safer, wiser and healthier.

With all the bad press that public institutions get, it is important for us to learn about what really happens in those places and to celebrate those who make a positive difference (at least as much as shaming those who disgrace us).

Besides some of the other bigger issues we must deal with and resolve as a nation, these changes, if implemented, could have an immediate and positive influence on the state of our nation and how we proceed in the future.

Unéné Gregory is the founder of Ambulation Technologies, a prosthetics start-up. She also writes for The Contemplating Entrepreneur blog

Source Mail & Guardian

South Africa: With their great numbers and willpower the youth could change SA

By Sello Ivan Phahle

I wrote this article to conscientise the youth about the kingmaker status they have in the upcoming national elections.

Young people represent a potentially powerful political force in South Africa. If they all used their voices in unity, they could make a dramatic difference in the country by overthrowing the ruling party in South Africa, the ever so disappointing, arrogant and corrupt African National Congress. Youth voting statistics support this phenomenon greatly as people under the age of 29 years constitute to almost 22% – translated to roughly around nine million people – of the voting community.

With these great numbers and enough willpower they could whirl around the faces of politicians and political parties to address their burning issues and concerns; being high unemployment, inadequate access to quality and affordable education and poor infrastructure.

But unfortunately, this is only just an idea and not a reality because the youth prefer to stay on the sidelines of all politics and to aggravate the situation, politicians ignore them anyway. The main reason for this act of ignorance is that politicians tend to focus their attention on their mainstream of voters, the older generation.

This situation is not unique to South Africa, it is a global phenomenon. The number of young voters who participate in democratic elections is steadily decreasing. Most analysts identify the cause of this as the disinterest of millennials in politics altogether. But on the contrary research and opinions from the youth itself suggests otherwise.

The youth are very much well aware of the political dynamics in the country and are actively participating in political discussions.

Research by the Institute for Security Studies reveals that the youth feel isolated from formal politics, have little or no trust at all in politicians and have had negative experiences with the government from which they required services from.

Most young people are highly critical of political leaders who fail to interact with them on a meaningful and relevant level. They complain that their cries, grievances and frustrations more often than not fall on deaf ears. Available evidence suggests that just because they do not belong to any political party does not mean they are clueless about politics.

The youth actually do understand that voting is of the essence as it is a democratic privilege. They have clear views on the challenges and are more than willing to engage and act. They do not see how the system will work in their favour or how political parties will attend to their immediate challenges. Unemployment and lack of access to free quality education are pressing issues.

There seems to be an attempt by the government to silence the youth. They do not want young people to function, hence the denial of free quality education and the ever increasing unemployment rate.

But the media is also to be blamed for this, simply because the media is critical to the social agenda of any country.

When you look at the way in which young people (especially black) are portrayed in movies, telenovela, radio, magazines and newspapers, it is in a very negative way as if to say the country would be better off without these people.

The ISS research published in March also revealed that the youth are bothered by the corruption infested in our political parties, the leaders and the system as a whole. It has become apparent to the youth that political representatives such as ward councillors all the way to the number one office is corrupt and defends kleptocracy.

Over the years this behaviour seems to be rewarded by getting better position and greater political power. This behaviour never stands still. It is always getting worse or better.

When the ANC were not punished by voters for the former President Thabo Mbeki’s HIV denialism as well as the missing billions for an “Alexandra renewal”, that automatically created a context for Nkandla: Jacob Zuma to loot the state and outsource his executive office to the Guptas as well as Cyril Ramaphosa receiving Bosasa money.

When you do nothing about misbehaviour, then you are actually supporting and promoting its repeating itself – another important reason why they youth ought to vote.

Despite all the issues raised above, the question still remains. Should young people participate in the upcoming national elections and can they have a meaningful effect on the political landscape as a result of their mark on the ballot paper?

As mentioned before, the youth vote does matter, so much so that the collective “youth vote” could actually sway the election. No radical change will occur if the youth continues to take a back seat.

The youth ought to stand up for themselves and find ways for the political system to hear them out and make a change. It’s very clear that no one is going to vote and fight for the interests and concerns of young people except for young people.

For many young people, adulthood brings many new challenges, like university, marriage, buying a house, paying for your own health insurance, and/or starting a business, all of which could radically change your perspective on political issues.

While you can’t predict who or where you’ll be in four years, you can be sure that the political officials elected into office and the policies they implement will affect your life in the coming months and years.

Through voting the youth can put themselves in power regardless of whichever party leads the country. In today’s tech-savvy world, there is no excuse not to vote because you do not know enough about the parties.

In fact, one might find it harder to escape the day-to-day political news than subscribe to it. In an era in which Twitter is a preferred means of communication for many political leaders has become as crucial as their party’s websites for disseminating information about relevant issues.

The current online climate allows young voters to form a fuller picture of the candidates and their platforms in a medium they are familiar with. The act of voting can push parties in the right and desired direction of the youth and most importantly consistently so.

They will energise the political system and steer their countries into a new and fresh direction. A direction that will uplift and benefit all generations and generations to come. The youth vote has the potential to be extremely influential.

Increasing youth voter turnout is very much crucial in getting the millennial generation to grasp on and never let go of the electoral process. In this manner they will grow up to be well informed and responsible citizens and most importantly the culture of voting shall not die out. Instead it shall continue to grow and make our country purposeful.

Sello Ivan Phahle is managing director of SIP Media

Source City Press