The youth are the pillars of development

A view of the Mt Kenya University campus. PHOTO | FILE

What you need to know:

  • Needless to say, the youth are powerful agents of a cohesive society. Tribe is an alien word to most of them, having interacted in schools, colleges and universities with colleagues from various corners of the country. These interactions have broadened their worldview.

  • Therefore, the youth can play a critical role in eliminating the cancer of tribalism that has choked national unity, caused untold misery and retarded development.

  • In addition, the youth are key in furthering the tenets of democracy. This believe in liberalism and free thought.

The youth are a fundamental asset of any country. This is more so for a country like Kenya in which young people are the majority — they form about 40 per cent of of our population of 40 million.

When receiving her Nobel peace prize in 2004, Wangari Maathai said: “I would like to call on young people to commit themselves to activities that contribute toward achieving their long-term dreams.”

Kenya should seek ways to tap the massive youth potential. We must nurture them properly, give them the best education and, later, opportunities.

Besides being energetic and innovative, young people are techno-savvy. Worldwide, technology is the engine of economic growth. Kenya should tap the vast potential of the cyberspace to power its economic growth.

Thanks largely to the youth,  Kenya is known worldwide for its innovations which have earned the country a top ranking as an ICT hub. Furthermore, youth are bubbling with brilliant business. Some of these innovative ideas, if well-nurtured, can blossom into conglomerates that will employ thousands of youth and pay millions in taxes. That way the economy will grow.

Needless to say, the youth are powerful agents of a cohesive society. Tribe is an alien word to most of them, having interacted in schools, colleges and universities with colleagues from various corners of the country. These interactions have broadened their worldview.

Therefore, the youth can play a critical role in eliminating the cancer of tribalism that has choked national unity, caused untold misery and retarded development.

In addition, the youth are key in furthering the tenets of democracy. This believe in liberalism and free thought.

Fortunately, a growing number of young people now appreciate that their fate lies in their hands. They have woken up to the realisation that they are the hardest hit when trouble strikes. When chaos erupts, they bear the brunt.

This is perhaps the reason why they voted in large numbers in the last General Election, putting into offices young leaders who identify with their plight. Currently, we have a fair share of young governors, senators and MPs.

 

 

Dr Simon Gicharu is the founder and chairman of Mt Kenya University

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