Youths as the Bridge to the Future
According to the United Nations report, the proportion of young people not in employment, education or training has remained stubbornly high over the past 15 years and now stands at 30% for young women and 13% for young men worldwide. In the year 2019, the Nigerian leader, President Muhammad Buhari was quoted by the Premium Times Nigeria saying, “more than 60 percent of the population is below 30, a lot of them haven’t been to school and they are claiming that Nigeria is an oil-producing country, therefore, they should sit and do nothing, and get housing, health care, education free”. His assertion was met with counterarguments especially on the incompetence of the government to provide for the so-called 60 percent of the population with basic social amenities.
As a country with more than 60 percent of her population as youths, the opportunities of growth, positivity, creativity, strength, innovations, and ideas abounds yet they are plagued with stereotypic assertions of childishness, carelessness, and recklessness. Where they are taught right and provided with the right resources and basic social amenities, they help strengthen the continuation of relevant past rules as well as promote germane conventions that are appropriate for the present social issues in their communities. They build on laid down foundations, and in situations wherein the foundations are shaky, for example, in developing countries, they build the foundations. They through their connections with the present problems of their societies provide and proffer solutions to difficulties, hence driving the fore of change as well as development in their countries. They are the future, they are relevant to the present, they are resilient and intelligent to drive social reforms and social revolutions in society.
But as the UN has mentioned, the numbers of youths not employed, or lacks access to proper as well as not seen the four walls of a school have remained stubbornly high. When these claims are properly investigated, it becomes clear that inadequacies, restrictive laws and policies, access to proper training instructive platforms which mostly expensive, and nepotism have at large, killed the sparks and snuffed out the vibrant energy of the youths. They are threatened and encaged in fear of the unknown instead of being taught they that they have the zeal to transform the unknown, which is shrouded in uncertainties to the known, that is molded by their creativities.
Many have suggested solutions they believe can get the youths back on track. Some have suggested giving equal opportunities to all youths, while some have criticized such a solution as a romanticized idea that all youths are equally qualified to have access to equal opportunities like those in developed countries. However, Youth Up organization is a youth-oriented body that believes in equal opportunities for all by helping to strategically push boundaries through its mentorship and partnership programs, employment programs, youth advocacy campaign among others to ensure that in the spirit of togetherness, the growth, development, and freedom of countries are left in the hands of capable youths.