Analyzing and brainstorming on how the global world can meet up with the United Nations Poverty reduction goals in 2030, Bill and Melinda Gates foundation in its 2018 goalkeeper foundation pinpointed that empowering young Africans in the domains of health and education would solve the problem of poverty. According to the recent release, the Africa’s demographic boom which is likely to double in the coming years may slow down the government’s efforts to end poverty. Eradicating Poverty has been one of the major challenges of the African governments.
How therefore can Africa invest in the health and education of its younger population? One doesn’t need to be a development expert to establish that it takes good health to get one’s self out of poverty. Investing in the health of young people here will include, investing in their psychological well being, access to good health services and medication and also rehabilitation and restitution programs for those already affected by ugly situations of life.
Hence investing in youth’s mental health ensures that they have healthy minds reflections and positive energy and spirit. This in effect promotes innovations, creativity and prosperous initiatives in all dimensions of the society. Good health policy also ensures that young people stay away from illnesses like malaria, STDs and others. In effect it boosts the work force, supply of labour, efficiency and productivity since they may spend more hours working than being on sick leaves. This certainly has a positive effect on poverty alleviation and economic growth in African countries. On the aspect of education, a more educated population will contribute to poverty reduction. Given the importance of human capital in attaining some of the sustainable development goals, providing quality education for youths would increase their intelligence quotient and boost their technical know how. This will enable the youths to bring fought new innovations through entrepreneurship and their ability to fit into the job market. If stakeholders can help the ever growing African population attain these objectives, then poverty will be a thing of the past in 2050.
According to Valerie Viban, Deputy Coordinator local youth corner Cameroon, It is common knowledge across think thanks that the greatest economic resource Africa may have in the nearest future will be her labour force .The largely youthful population will account for a good proportion of the Worlds labour force by 2040. While it is just a projection, it can be more feasible if investment that focuses on adding value is put into effect on this young people. These include skills which are evident in the new dimensions of work like ICTs, engineering and other value adding skills. It is time for Africa to start this as a way of reaping more fruits from globalisation of production and new order of global value chains which predict the of production chains and easy movement of industries to areas of less cost. According to statistics, Africa’s youth population in particular is rapidly growing and is expected to double to over 830 million by 2050.
In a nutshell, African leaders like Paul Kagame of Rwanda have been working judiciously to get its youth involved in its development agenda. Presently, 100 youths from 44 African countries are meeting in Kigali for a two-week workshop ahead of the 9th edition of the African Union Youth Volunteers Corps. The 12-month youth volunteer programme is set to commence in 2019. These projects would require that the trainees visit different African nations to contribute to their progress.
article of the AFRIC editorial