The reality is that many African young people today face a myriad of challenges, such as high rates of poverty and employment, drug abuse, alcoholism, reckless sex and unplanned pregnancies among others.
Many youth are merely surviving, and sleepwalking through life. This is a great setback towards our achievement of ‘the Africa we Want’. Young people, don’t be comfortable with the uncomfortable situations you find yourselves in. Take charge of your own and realize that the continent depends on your positive input,
We are told that Youth are the Leaders of Tomorrow. But when Does Tomorrow Start?
In my experience as a young person, many times we are told that we are the leaders of tomorrow. But I always ask myself this question: When does tomorrow start?
“We Count on our African Parliamentarians to Push the Youth Reproductive Health Agenda Forward”
Africa’s youth face a myriad of challenges in their daily living, and I believe that the best people to highlight these problems, explore feasible solutions and implement worthwhile recommendations are the youth themselves, in collaboration with other development partners. But they must be centrally involved in this process, and not just wait for decisions to be made for them.
What is my expectation of African Parliamentarians with regard harnessing the demographic dividend through investment in youth? I hope to see African Parliamentarians following up on their commitments towards harnessing the demographic dividend by taking action.
The time is now, I believe. Let us not wait for tomorrow to become leaders so that we can start solving Africa’s problems then. As a young person, whatever capacity you find yourself in today, begin seeking solutions to the challenges that you and other African youth face. You have the power in you to bring about that change.
Young people can form groups to seek solutions to their problems. Many of those in urban and peri-urban areas have access to mobile technology, so they can use them to communicate with each other in a group –such as on Africacontinentcare chat room, where they can highlight their issues, engage in debates and constructive arguments, suggest solutions to these problems, and even strategize on how their plight can reach policy makers and other Legislators.
To advance their cause, young people should also take advantage of the traditional media; radio, newspapers and television to call for action and hold their government and leaders to account on their commitments. We recognize the value of journalists in highlighting social issues, spotlighting corruption and calling for accountability by leaders. The media is also instrumental in showcasing success stories and educating the community on innovative strategies that could realize development in the society.
Unfortunately, many African politicians take advantage of young people and use them to among others, intimidate their opponents and perpetrate acts of violence against them. In fact, it could be said that such politicians are the ones reaping from the demographic dividend as they are unfairly capitalizing on the resources that is youth. Others who may be taking advantage of young people and their vulnerable or unemployment status are child traffickers, rebel militia groups and the rising radical groups
Today’s African youth are the most educated, exposed, creative and dynamic. They have access to technology, which, if used appropriately, can help them improve their standards of living and help them live quality lives. The various social media platforms that many youth have access to nowadays should be used effectively, to benefit not only themselves and their immediate communities, but their countries and the continent at large
In many African countries, citizens do not have a voice and dare not speak negatively of those in authority for fear of reprisal. In fact, there are cases where those who have done so have been threatened and even jailed! This should however not discourage young people for demanding for quality services, which is their right. Supportive legislations must be put in place and enforced, to ensure that youth have access to public information and are protected whenever they raise questions
Ït’s vital we sit down with young people now and begin planning solutions aimed at creating fit-or-purpose educational systems, functional job-markets, efficient skills exchanges and the sustainable future we all depend on”
In all of us, there is a talent, a Gift we have received. No matter who you are, no matter what difficults time you are passing through, there is a talent in you that you can bring out.
The aim of this empowerment is to establish a wide-based community movement which encourages the positive involvement of young people in solving issues which affect them,treating them as ressources,not as problems.
In order to transform our communities, we will focus on three main areas:
Youths, The Leaders of Tomorrow,” as very important at this point of our history when our youths hardly celebrate cherished societal values. Let it be quickly pointed out that that every nation needs its youth. The reasons are that youths possess boundless energy, enthusiasm and revolutionary thoughts among others and are, therefore, vibrant actors of social change. It is for these reasons that they are also branded as “partners of today.” I like to tell our youths that it is better to learn how to be effective partners today so that they can truly assume the role of effective leaders tomorrow. In our national history, youths who subjected themselves to leadership mentorship rose to be truly leaders of the nation.
In Africa and around the world, a few examples: “Woon King Chai successfully campaigned to change a 30-year-old law in Malaysia that prohibited students from having a political voice.” Sweta Mangal “co-founded a service that saved lives in India through coordinating a fleet of emergency rapid response vehicles.” They were both in their 20s. The likes of Nelson Mandela of Africa, as youths, were keen students and movers of their society egged on to great heights by amazing strength of character.
When young people are adequately empowered and engaged, everyone benefits – from Governments to the private sector to civil society,
For their part, young people must get involved early and often by participating in civic and public life. They have got to speak,Young people are not asking for support, they are asking for investment.
Who says youths are leaders of tomorrow?
Young people are part of the bouquet of a society. They are an integral and essential part of a society; they offer that specific aroma of theirs which complements the societal wholeness. Young people cannot survive without a society, and a society in turn is incomplete without their belligerence.
I wonder why the term has become so unrealistic and impossible to attain. Today, unemployment has not only ravaged our young minds, the future is particularly bleak.
Being a leader tomorrow requires a vision today, and this vision today must be put to work for full actualization. This used to be the case until tomorrow turned to horror. When the vision of being a leader seems to have completely dwindled yesterday and now today – we are left like sheep without shepherd. It seems everything we had envisaged have fizzled.
Phrases that describe McUnch typical work day.
Energetic, interesting, problem-solving, challenges as opportunities to learn.
In a nutshell, how did you get to where you are right now? Name some of the most important milestones.
For me to be an CEO of ACCUF, I had to have so much passion for children’s rights and their welfare. It also took an outstanding and a certain qualification. I would also say volunteering to see change in my Continent Africa and seeing children achieve their goals. It had to take courage and that eye that looks beyond obstacles and keeps the resilient spirit. In essence, what made me know I was interested in children’s rights was the fact that I positively used my position as the Missionary of Modern Era in Africa.
What was the biggest obstacle you had to overcome to get to your current position and how did it help you to grow as a person?
The biggest challenge that I faced was deciding which area of human rights development I wanted to specialize in. My passion was with children, so there was a conflict of interest with my parents. However, eventually they had to let me pursue what I would enjoy, even though there is less remuneration. I do enjoy what I do and I am not apologetic about it. I learnt a lot from that firm decision that I took, and no matter what comes your way, if you vividly imagine what you want to be, then it will inevitably come to pass.
What are the top three things someone needs to excel in your field?
Passion, service above self, and focus.
What do you think is the MOST important thing governments and/or companies can do to help young people get started in their careers?
I have a firm conviction that governments need to be accountable for their actions and stop all the rhetoric about youth empowerment and development. They must honor what they would have said they will do. They also need to believe in our potential. We are never leaders of tomorrow, but of today. The old approach to youth inclusion should come to an end.
On a lighter note, tell us about the strangest day you’ve ever had at work or the strangest thing you had to do?
We all do strange things all day, and I live each day as if it is my last. My superiors always say “ask yourself each day, what value have I added to this organization?” Well one strange thing I had to do one day was wave at the youth sold in my present at Libyan Slave Trade 2017.
I have always been a champion of young people, the next generation
who change their minds at the speed of light and who are always instinctively on the cutting edge. Many times we don’t give our teens and young adults enough credit.