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African industrialisation through the youths


Science students of Spiritus Sanctus Missionary School, Egoro Amede Ekpoma, Edo State on excursion at Irrua Special Hospital

November 20 is Africa Industrialisation Day. Industrialisation cannot take place without the youths. The youths have vital role to play, as long as African industrialisation is concerned. The youths are the vehicles through which African industrialisation can thrive. They are the force that propels industrialisation. The youths have all the potentials it takes to take African industrialisation to a higher level.

Industrialisation itself begins with a vision or insight. When properly harnessed and nurtured, this vision grows into big establishments and industries. The youths are endowed with vision, insights and creativity. The Lord God spoke through the prophet of Joel 2:28 “Afterward, I will pour out my spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, and your young men shall see visions…”

Our youths are not as lazy or empty as some old politicians thought. We have young men and women who are loaded with ideas and inspirations. Among them are visionaries, people with creative visions. Unfortunately, they exist amongst people who do not know the importance of vision, vision killers.

Our youths lack encouragement and support. Those with the capacity to take African industrialisation to a greater height are not encouraged. For instance, here in Nigeria, the government cannot build or maintain existing refineries. Yet, we have talented youths who are into local refinery. Instead of encouraging these young talents, the government has always used their security agencies to discouraged and killed these young initiatives.

A country where young people have to pay through their nose before establishing their own enterprises is not ready for industrialisation. A country where military men and other security agencies are going about terrorising young entrepreneurship is directly fighting against its industrialisation. A country where young people have no direct access to grant/loan for the development of their businesses and initiative is far behind the altar of industrialisation. A country that denies young people the licence to establish local industries can never attain industrialisation.

African industrialisation begins at home and it must begin in a humble way. After all, a journey of many miles begins with a step. The first step towards African industrialisation is to encourage youth education. By education, I do not mean the present theoretical education. What we need as long as industrialisation is concerned is technical and practical education.

We need a system of education where mechanical engineering students will graduate with the passion to establish their own mechanical workshop, where other young roadside mechanics can be gainfully employed. We need an educational system where a medical doctor will not graduate only to be looking for political appointment or election, but an educational system where a medical doctor will graduate with the passion to open his own hospital, especially in rural areas where there are no hospitals. We need an educational system where Agricultural students will not graduate looking for jobs in urban cities, but will graduate with the passion to establish mechanised and industrialised farming, which creates job for other young people.

Above all, we need an educational system where Pharmacy students will graduate with the passion to establish pharmaceutical centres, especially in rural areas, where people need such services. With time, such pharmaceutical centres could even develop to a level where other science students could carry out pharmaceutical researches.

In a nutshell, what we need in Africa is industrialised minded system of education and governance. Such system cannot exist without youths who have passion for industrialisation. We equally need good leaders who are ready to do the needful, by releasing grants and establishing favourable laws where youths can excel. With this, I believe we can lay an unshakable foundation for African Industrialisation.

In this article:
Rev. Fr. John Damian
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