Young people play a central role in nation-building

What you need to know:

It is a well-known fact that youths are a great asset. Their role in nation building is crucial as their intelligence, zeal and freshness puts their countries on the path to success

Philosopher Frantz Fanon says “Every generation must out of relative obscurity discover its own destiny, either betray it or fulfill it”.

Countries like Uganda, which have relatively youthful population, stand on the runway of economic take off if they find the formula to harness the energy, creativity and entrepreneurship that young people have to offer, but above all must be nurtured on issues that affect communities and unite them for social economic transformation, as Mao Tse Tung used to say, Unite many, to defeat the few and isolate the enemy to maximum as opposed to alienating many.

At Independence, most of the agitators were youth moved by the spirit of Nationalism and Pan Africanism in Uganda and the entire continent and diaspora.

Youth of every race and dimension across the globe have always taken the center stage in social economic development. They represent a measure of success or failure in every state or region based on what governments do with or for them.

It is a well-known fact that youths are a great asset. Their role in nation building is crucial as their intelligence, zeal and freshness puts their countries on the path to success. They are the building blocks of meaningful growth. The youth are very energetic and enthusiastic. They have the ability to learn and adapt to the environment.

Similarly, they are willing to learn and act to achieve their goals. It is upon the country to help the youth attain this role properly. We must make all of them aware of their power to spur nation building.

Given their robustness, young people have much to offer to society from innovation or creativity to new thinking. Their participation in democracy promotes active citizenship, strengthens social responsibility and improves democratic processes and institutions. They are not only leaders of tomorrow but also partners of today, their commitment in any way is a much needed component of every development stage.

Therefore, they should be given adequate opportunities to present their ideas and policies for the good of the nation or communities. They should further be motivated to take part in policies and expand their positions on top, knowledge and unity speak more than experience, yet the solved department still fails to recognise the value of their young citizens in sustaining and strengthening democracy.

Democracy has to be instilled at a very tender age so that young people can appreciate democratic principles and become responsible citizens. The youth could be a “Demographic dividend” ensuring stability and prosperity for decades to come. This calls for more participation of our youth MPs in the National Parliament and to create forums for youth to appreciate the role of leaders in nation building and be able to inspire youth in different sectors and national youth councils.

Leaders must keep the youth in the loop about development projects and opportunities, as they are the foot soldiers and not vegards of progress. The government must continue to domesticate youth friendly programmes like Emyoga, PDM which make youth participate fully and continue to sponsor more youth in education.

Similarly, elders must encourage the youth to do better in every field, this should entail providing support systems and enable the youth to avail themselves initiation meant to improve their lives, doing so would create a platform on which every individual can thrive and in turn, enhance the collective wellbeing of citizens and to be patriotic especially with regard to socio –economic growth.

Stephen Asiimwe, Pan Africanist, a member of the steering committee of the 8th African Congress.

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