‘Imperatives of youth engagement in national development’
The quest for national and regional development may remain elusive, until Nigeria and other African countries fully engage the youths, stakeholders have said.The concerned stakeholders, who said this at the African Summit 2019, urged leaders to focus more on the character education, service, and talent optimisation in the youths to secure the future of the continent.
Indeed, the African continent with over 60 per cent of its population youths is adjudged young, with comparatively higher potential for growth. Regional President of YSP Africa, Philbert Seka, at the summit held in São Tomé recently, reiterated that the youth was the main resources of any nation, and the major reason the Universal Peace Federation (UPF) has given them a priority, and to groom future leaders.
Seka said the world is in crisis today mainly because the youths were keen on their community or nation alone.”But if they are educated beyond their communities, they will impact and bring peace to the region. As you know, all the revolutions in the world were by young people. They are there in sports, acting and so on. So, you will realise that the world is about young people.
“When the United Nations is talking about development and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), it is about young people. To have sustainability, you need people that can live longer. Young people are the resources of the world but they need to educated and properly guided,” Seka said.He added that it was for this purpose that the YSP Africa was founded, with arms in 43 countries including Nigeria, impacting the youths in the area of character education, service to the community and leadership orientation.
At the conclusion of the summit and family harvest about 430 couples renewed vows, as the YSP hosted over 20, 000 youths at a grand festival in São Tomé.Former President and current Chairman of the International Summit Council for Peace (ISCP), Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, also stressed the need to engage the youths, saying that there is restiveness on the continent because the youths are more often than not idea.
“I have no doubt in my mind that to change Africa, the youths are very central. We the aged have done our best And we are leaving the stage. Again, we must not forget that every crisis in Africa affects the youth, not the elderly like myself. So, we must properly engage and empower the youth,” Jonathan said.
Apparently in agreement with earlier speakers, Head of the Revelation Church of God, in South Africa, Dr. Samuel Radebe, said intelligent leaders around the world invest heavily in their youths.
“It is not by accident, but because of their importance to the survival of all. African leaders must also go back to their countries to invest in younger people. Youth is the future of any nation and the world in general. If we keep having this at heart, the world will be a better place for all of us,” Radebe said.