Youth investment: The lynchpin of a nation's success

27 December 2016 | Columns

The success of any nation depends on how it treats its young people. Giving young people the skills and knowledge to overcome lifelong challenges, opening of vocational training centres, making education affordable for every willing person to enter, that's what makes nations successful. If a nation wishes to equip its people with the skills required to succeed, it has to set aside its differences with those who openly criticise its governance.

Engaging in trade deals with other nations, opening the doors of opportunity to everyone with no recognisable surname to enter, letting fairness prevail at the most critical of times. That's the path that should be taken by every nation willing to take its citizens to greater heights.

Familiarising young people to important vices that make the economy grow helps a country succeed. Offering technological skills can help a country move closer to prosperity, that little gesture, if fully nurtured in the youth can go a long way putting a country back on its own two feet unlike always leaning on the West and Far East for help.

A nation can attain great strides in technology because education opens the eyes of the youth and makes them reason in diverse angles for the betterment of lives. Technological advancement must be taught to students in schools where they go and learn great technical skills. Computers, electrical appliances and other products of technology are made possible in the life of today because of education. Educational standards improve from day-to-day and the more they improve, the more growth we have in technology. Technological growth started in Africa since the advent of education. Students are taught how to reason critically in schools.

However, no country can reach its full potential if it does not invest in the education of its youth. It meaningless for a country to keep on preaching about young people being the leaders of tomorrow if those youths are not well equipped with an education. Once the young people are educated, they will have to face many difficulties and learn more about every field of their lives. That education should begin at a tender age and governments must always step in and make education affordable to all. If universities increase their tuition fees every year, there will be a very slim chance of people coming from improvised backgrounds to still dream of an education.

If the youth are given the education they need, crime is likely to be low. This is because the youth will separate themselves from crime because they were taught the consequences of any committed crime while in school. These punishments of any offense make many to detach from anything that will lead them to crime. Again, with education, young people can learn to be disciplined and say no to any kind of crime. Thus, an education would not just empower the youth, it would provide employment for the masses. No normal person who is employed and paid well will have time to start thinking of which crime he will commit or the other to make money. Based on observations, countries that are more educated have less crime rates when compared with undereducated ones.

Equipping young people with an education may also lead to a country becoming industrialised. This can only happen through the good work of the teaching given to youths from various parts of a country. Therefore, the industrial sector would not achieve great results without the learning of its youth. Many nations make good profits from the goods produced by their industrial sector and use them in their nation building. People are able to work in these industries because they are educated on how to operate industrial machines. It is through the training given to these people that make them to operate the machines effectively and have huge yields in return.

Encouraging young people to take part in the agriculture sector can also assist a nation to grow and improve the living standards of its people. However, agricultural improvement is only attainable with education. Education creates great improvements in the yield of agricultural products. It is through education that crossbreeding was introduced to enhance the yield and varieties of agricultural products. It is of no doubt that crossbreeding of crops has made many types of harvests available to the masses. It is in institutions of learning that students are taught how to crossbreed. Again, it was through educational research on plants that crossbreeding came to existence. Today, people make a choice on the kind of crossbreed crops they want to eat in order to promote their health. Nations have varieties of plants at their reach and feed the masses with crops which are products of crossbreeding. The kind of farming tools that were used long time ago for farming is entirely different. Education makes people to reason beyond and start manufacturing machines for farming instead of making use of crude materials or human labour. With the help of newly produced machines, people can practice farming with less stress.

Youth investment can only be achieved if improvements are focused on important sectors of a country such as education, health, agriculture and technological skills. If that happens, then the youth can truly be the future leaders of tomorrow unlike we have been made to believe in today's modern world.

*Joseph Kalimbwe is fourth-year student studying towards a degree in Public Management (Honours) at the University of Namibia.

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