COVID-19 like a Thunderbolt
If you have never had someone enter your house or room without invitation, then I guess Covid-19 must have given you a clue. Entering into the doors of practically every country. No one can particularly blame any political party or the civil body for the problems caused, but surely, there will be a cause to blame for stagnation as a country or a corporate body, beyond this pandemic.
As it stands now, I believe every country globally has fully grasped the essence of youth inclusion and the significance of giving room for youth in policy making.
By 2050, A Half of African Population Will Be Under 25 Years Old
Statistics reveal that by 2050, Africa will be home to nearly 2.5 billion people, more than a quarter of the world’s population, half of whom will be under 25 years of age (Bridges Builder) and Rwanda is undoubtedly a nation benefitting from youth participation in national development
Competition, High Unemployment Rate and Investor-Ready Market
I must say that the policies enacted by the government in recent years has made Rwanda a beacon of excellence and a point of reference for digital development in Africa. Yet there is absolutely more to be done. The competition between various economies is going to rise especially in Africa where unemployment rate is high amongst the youth and the market is investor-ready.
Lots of the youth globally are going to compete on prices especially on Covid-19 related challenges and the United nation Sustainable development goals. Whiles it is no doubt that certain members of this country can benefit from this, I envisage that there will be more awards if the government collaborates with the youth. As it stands now, though I may be mal-nourished on decision makings and policy implementations but the little knowledge garnered through international collaborations and youthful association reveals to me that people who participate in such competition are those who by chance encounter them on social media or through rigorous search with search engines. This altogether is not bad but I believe reduces the number of participation and inclusion as a nation. I suggest that it will be of essence for the government of Rwanda to take up the task to developing a roadmap for youth participation in promoting participation in covid-19 challenges and the UN SDGs goals and other relevant competitions.
National Collaboration in Competitions
Assuming a competition where a network of participants from one country explicitly lays out their solutions through collaboration by linking them to government policies that will strengthen its implementation. Not only will they win, they are also going to gain competitive advantage. I believe the majority of Africa countries are solving this problem of national collaboration wrongly, one of the reasons being that individuals would want to protect their ideas from being stolen which at the end leads to individualism that minimizes productivity.
Rwanda Needs a strong youth ecosystem
Overall, the youth in Rwanda lacks efficient funding to provide the MVP of their solutions. This is a very serious issue which needs to be handled with earnestness. The solution for this will be to build youth ecosystem where anyone who wants to participate in any local or international competitions signs up with their solutions. A team of experts presides over the various solutions and categorize them into different groups depending on the SDG/field being handled or the region of applicants, and works along with them. How will this help? At any point in time people building similar solutions are able to link to one another. We can easily match solutions to various hubs for incubation and training. It will also be a sort of evidence for investors to securely invest in the youth of Rwanda.
I believe this will introduce the need for more incubation hub establishment. At this time, the various hubs and the general ecosystem players are familiar with themselves enabling proper supervision which will push participants to effectively utilize the small amount of money given them for the creation of MVPs.
The Long-Term Effect Is a Future Leadership of Astute Collaborators
A typical example to crown this, is the introduction of the Africa Continental free trade Area (AFCFTA) which is headquartered in Accra, Ghana. So, the question is how many of our youth know this opportunity that they may profit from. If such initiative as a local ecosystem collaboration engineered by the government is on board, communicating such information becomes easier. Moreover, bloggers are modern day international journalist. Their publishing could be accessed almost everywhere across the globe. One significant problem facing bloggers is information acquisition. Browsing the internet for the right information is a daunting task and an initiative like this brings all innovative solutions to almost one place and makes it easier for them to publish information on the on-going progress of Rwanda. I believe this will be a way of directing investor traffic to our country for the benefit of the youth.
Assuming well renowned books which have made significant improvements in the lives of people in the developed countries are translated to our local languages and made available to the general public at no cost. The vast majority of people will be willing to use such a platform to learn on their own. These books are translated in written and audio formats and made available online to enable even uneducated ones to enjoy them. The beauty of this is that a good number of books are open access. If this is successfully implemented, I suppose the level of digital illiteracy and illiteracy in general will be almost zero by 2030.
Post-pandemic Cultural heritage
The last thing I will touch on is our cultural heritage. Passing on our culture untainted to the next generation has right now become crucial than any other times in the past due to foreign infiltration. As I always say, we can’t be wrong at all spheres of life and still be alive and thriving. There is certainly some aspect of our lives in Africa which may be doing better than any other continent. I believe if there is anything like that then it hangs on cultural transition. The government should partner with the youth to develop a cultural arm which will seek to impart our culture in any sphere of influence beginning from the basic education level to our parliamentary sittings. This should be totally driven by the youth. I believe this way; we can raise youth who are passionate about their country’s wellbeing.
The truth is that the extent of the havoc this pandemic has caused requires radical decisions in order to battle it and the youth should always be at the forefront for any country which wants to see major economic rise and development.
obed Imbahafi (author) from Rwanda on January 24, 2021:
youth should always be at the forefront for any country which wants to see major economic rise and development