Young people rise up to the challenge

13 August 2019 | Opinion

As the world paused to observe International Youth Day yesterday, we are once again reminded of the critical role young people play in society. Young people the world over represent our common hope and future. As the great thinker Franz Fanon said: ‘Each generation must, out of relative obscurity, discover its mission, [and] fulfil it or betray it.’ It goes without saying that the young people in Namibia need to be provided with opportunities and be encouraged to become active citizens in their communities in order to be custodians of positive change in our country. Young people are vibrant by nature. They ooze positive energy and remarkable talent, which can significantly fuel the much-needed change in society. Today’s youth face a multitude of challenges and social problems such as alcohol and drug abuse, teenage pregnancy and joblessness. They also have to overcome worrying trends of poverty. To treat young people with disrespect is to attack their human dignity. Above all, we should protect the young generation, guide them and nurture them to become the best they want in life. Equally, there must be a holistic approach to help improve the capacity of young people and develop their potential in key areas such as education, employment and decision-making across all economic sectors. We have often decried the involvement of young people in petty political fights that is of no benefit to the youth constituency. We all have an important responsibility towards the young people of this country and greater energy must be channelled to development, youth empowerment and other critical issues. We need more young people to spell out a vision for a better Namibia and which reflects a transformed attitude. We must therefore give the young people the necessary support in their quest to help shape the future of our motherland. It is indeed a massive weight of expectation, but rest assured we are in good hands.

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