When the youth are in decision making
Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity. 1Timothy 4:12
This quote engineers young people to rise and shine anywhere they find themselves. The youth play lead role in nation building. Sociologists say they are a society’s engine of growth. A society experiences true reforms when women and youth are involved in decision making.
Modern society’s challenges are so enormous and complex that there would be the need for all stakeholders, including the youth, to be involved in providing possible remedies. All sections of society must be actively involved in the decision making process.
Tricia Yeoh (2008) urges, “Wherever the beat and pulse of the nation is, there the youth should be also”, adding “The generation of the young has always played a tremendous role in breaking and building nations”.
Records have it that society has produced many young leaders with superior performance. In the Biblical context, young David and Joseph were reported to have performed greatly.
In religious, political and social circles, young people at managerial positions have not done badly. Majority have exhibited high level wisdom and dynamism, culminating in the attainment of their organisational objectives.
I, therefore, find it worrying when I hear Job 12:12 say, “Wisdom belongs to the aged, and understanding to the old.” I see this as an attack on the integrity of the youth?
Old age may contain some experience and wisdom. But it is not always the case. There are wise youth as well, sometimes even wiser than some aged are. Such youth need to be identified and included in deliberations.
Failure to do this could breed misunderstandings and agitation in the society. Youth groups and clubs must be formed and empowered to contribute meaningfully to development.
In the realm of politics, some progress has been made. There are many great politicians now who actually started politics at tender ages.
Ex-Presidents Rawlings and Kufuor started the game of politics and bravery when they were young. The standard bearer of the NPP, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo is also said to have joined politics long ago. Vice-President John Mahama and Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, running mate to the NPP flag bearer, are all relatively young, energetic personalities.
There are sizeable number of aggressive young Ministers and deputy Ministers in the current Mills-led NDC administration. One can easily mention the Ablakwas, Fifi Kweteys, Agyenim Boatengs, etc. Take a cursory look at President Barrack Obama of the United States of America.
Many Ghanaian communities have youth associations. There are instances where some leaders are installed by traditional authorities to supervise and coordinate mainly youth activities and to address any emerging concerns.
In my ‘holy’ village of Ave, which lies in the belly of Akatsi District in the Volta Region, for instance, we have a ‘youth chief’ with the title, “Sorhe fia”. Problems affecting the youth are directed to his corridors for possible solutions.
One gets to colleges and Universities to see young, hardworking personalities as lecturers, Principals and Vice-chancellors. There are young people who are doctors and Professors serving at various key positions. A typical example is the Vice- Chancellor of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Professor William Otoo Ellis.
Gone are the days when some key positions were solely for the old. It is a fact that very soon the old will be weaker and will retire from active service. So why can’t they coach the youth now, for them to better handle problems they will be confronted with in the near future?
The survival or otherwise of any society can be influenced by the kind of education and socialization given the young.
Meanwhile, there is also the need for young persons to be submissive, respectful and humble to the aged. Through this, the old can also have some confidence and trust in the youth, and be prepared to involve them in the decision making process.
Ideas emanating from the old should not be seen as being archaic. History can only be perfectly told by the aged. The youth must realise this and be ready to listen.
The nagging issues plaguing society, especially on youth empowerment, can easily be tackled if the youth are keenly involved in decision making. The time to completely offload hydra-headed social problems, such as armed crimes, hooliganisms, illicit drug trades and cyber frauds, mostly executed by the youth, is NOW!
By Anthony Kwaku Amoah; (E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org)
Short URL: http://thechronicle.com.gh/?p=44952