International Youth Day 2020, last August 12, marked many celebrations and commemorations. But it mostly rings in my head like a beep. Contrary to those who consider the international days as a prosperous occasion and of great noise, I subscribe to a logic of reflection not only conjunctural but especially structural. And when we devote an international day to youth, it is urgent to provide an overview of the challenges we face, the contexts in which young people must navigate and the opportunities to seize.
A context still worrying for young people
Speaking of the plural context that prevails, the inadequate training system and political patronage have for decades fostered some promotion of mediocrity. In addition, the weak vision of development (until the recent past) and the virtual non-existence of a policy for the promotion and development of youth in the service of the development of our nations weigh as much in the balance.
This environment has not made it possible to reduce the social and migratory crises in which young people are engulfed. I am tempted to think that the situation as it is suitable for our leaders who are resistant to the development of the continent. But I remain reassured because on this same dune of stones, there are many flowers growing. The theme of the International Youth Day 2020 challenges us because each challenge is an opportunity to sublimate.
International Youth Day 2020: 03 avenues of opportunity
What the system does not offer us, let's be smart to go get it. The world (thanks to the Internet among others) is a maze of opportunities to be seized.
The first opportunity is that of free and low cost capacitation. Don't miss out on learning and training. Develop your skills and abilities. Read and learn from others. School is useful, but let's recognize its limits.
The second opportunity is that of a constantly evolving world whose fuel remains innovation. Whatever area you are interested in, you must bring added value and innovate. Create viable businesses that innovate. Challenge the norms.
Civic leadership: take action
Third, change has become a mandatory process and young people must get involved. I'm not just talking about politics (it's important, I admit, but not everyone has their place). Become agents of change in your grassroots communities. Be the change you desire around you and in your countries. Integrate organizations and campaign for sustainable development. Take action and inspire change wherever you are.
Learn, innovate and take action. This is the heart of my thoughts towards all the young people of my country and Africa on the occasion of International Youth Day 2020.