AASU On The 2016 Africa Youth Day- 1st November
Every year since 2006, people around Africa in particular the youth have been celebrating the African Youth Day on the 1st November. The African youth have been recognized as key partners in all the endeavors aimed at uplifting the continent from its current doldrums. The Day was established to coincide with the adoption of the African Youth Charter by the African Union (AU)’s Summit held in Banjul, The Gambia in 2006. It serves as an occasion to promote the increased recognition of youth as key agents for social change, economic growth and sustainable development in all areas of African society.
Though the qualities of the youth are generally hailed; they are also products of their society which impacts on behaviors and attitudes amongst others. Today African youth constituting the majority of the population are highly despaired and disillusioned; they are consumers of mainly foreign products promoted through the international mass media.
The rate of youth unemployment in Africa has reached 60% of the total number of unemployed people on the continent; this situation that is quite worrisome. With the number of youth in Africa on the ascendency; it is imperative to take adequate measures for the appropriate solutions.
The youth related issues can, only, be sufficiently solved through concerted efforts amongst African leaders. The youth on their part have an important role to play in changing not only their own predicaments but the general situation of their continent. No matter the difficulties they are confronted with; they will always be groups of conscious people of their own condition and it is their responsibility to educate their peers selflessly and with commitments in order to create awareness amongst them.
The theme of this year’s African youth Day is “Promoting youth mainstreaming as a catalyst towards harnessing the Demographic Dividend”. Africa has the largest “youth bulge” in the World and the number of youth is expected to grow by 42.5 million between 2010 and 2020 according to the World Bank.
This constitutes a formidable human resource if properly trained, organized and used for the transformation of Africa from its current situation to an enviable one where its daughters and sons would not find necessary to leave its shores in the search for dreamed better living conditions elsewhere.
To galvanize the youth, African leaders must adopt the credo of leadership by good example. Africa needs selfless and committed hardworking leaders. Dishonesty for personal gains, nepotism, and cronyism amongst others must pave way for transparency, integrity and accountability.
AASU urges all its member organizations to embark in activities to create awareness amongst the youth in general particularly their members, to understand that only Africans can transform the continent for the better.