Today, Monday 12 August 2019, the world celebrates the youth.
The Population Division of the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs reports that 6 out of every 10 people are aged under 24 years.
The Continent stands the chance of enjoying the fruits of a youthful workforce and a faster economic growth rate where the potential of the youth is put to task or is faced with the risk of lagging behind globally.
The best way to dodge the latter is to raise the quality of our human Resource Index.
HDI indicates the measure of wealth, standard of living, healthy life, life expectancy and education or access to knowledge.
This piece focuses on education and access to knowledge as the most important aspect of youth development in Africa.
The sustainable development Goals number 17. However, we find that only one is critical to unlocking the rest.
The youth typically need jobs to sustain the level of a Human Resource Index that developed countries can respect.
The world reportedly believes sub-Saharan African countries count among some of the poorest on the globe using gross domestic product per capita as a yardstick.
While this may be the case, and where some could make a strong case for humanitarian aid, we proffer education as the critical solution to the Continent’smanyproblems.
In curating indices for a higher quality of life, a richer population is the game.
The point is that jobs provide an avenue for lifting people out of poverty. In order to get jobs, the youth must be employable.
Employability of the youth poses another problem.
In this case, the jobs may be available, but the human resource, as many as they may be, would be incapable of fulfilling such roles.
Unemployabilitycontributes, to some extent, to youth unemployment in sub-Saharan Africa.
The quality of education has become suspect in creating such a phenomenon.
In addition, the education system operational in may sub-Saharan African countries only prove schools have a become a warehouse for keeping and bringing out sufficiently incapable masses of graduates who can only consume but are not inclined to produce.
The system of education in force is not comprehensively equipped with a curriculum that inspires students to think and produce.
Countless students across the Continent are not empowered with a mindset to turn the numerous problems they face into opportunities to celebrate innovative solutions.
On the contrary, they would be founded during darkness on a country’s appalling power fluctuation programme, or drinking dirty water from the only available stream in the community, rather than using basic tools in science to create makeshift lighting or water filters.
The basis for entrepreneurial mentalities at this point are tampered with.
When the above situations persist, there are new problems; the poor become unhealthy.
Many people realise a healthy life on a better budget afforded by a better job.
Otherwise, many others understand the dynamics of a healthy body and are able to afford medical reviews and the like.
A family that is able to afford a healthy life is definitely not a hungry family.
A level of income that acquires this standard of living is one that is far from pushing their owners below the poverty line.
The pocket from which this quality of life is enjoyed is one which belongs to an educated mind; a mind that is trained to inspire solutions and become the centre of innovation and not one that only consumes.
Making a reformed education system the centre of government focus is the best decision governments in Africacouldtaketoday.
12-year-old children today will become 32-year-olds in 2030 and will be in a position to engage a solid map to develop Africa out of underdeveloped wasteland into futuristic wonder.
The inability of governments to render an overhauled education system into an effective training ground of innovative producers will be the bane of Africa in 12 years when the current regime of SDGs have run their course.
What Young AfricanWomen in Leadership (YAWL) understand the dire need for education and mentorship in our schools. Today, we celebrate the numerousAfricanyouth: including the 60% of people aged under 24 years.
For almost two years, we have spearheaded a call to action on education-through speaking programmes and mentorship sessions mostly with young girls at the Junior High School level, engaging our audience with topics from social media to entrepreneurship to law.
Our observation? They are hungry for knowledge, but their system of learning and the access to the knowledge they have been given rob them of turning information into billable solutions.
In the meantime, we celebrate all those young people who have made mountains of innovation out of virtually nothing in hinterlands across the continent, breathing hope into our lives.
To mark International Youth day 2019, we invite every person, be it entrepreneur, company, politician, NGO, to join us in expanding our reach in mentoring as many young people as we can together.
Younger Africans must be ready for the world by 2030.