Youth In Industrialization, Business And Leadership.
Majority of the population in the African continent are the youth. Kenya being part of the African continent means that a huge chunk of our population are youth. The SDGs are founded on 5P’s; People, Planet, Prosperity, Peace and Partnerships. The first P, People, strives to end poverty and hunger in all their forms and dimensions and ensuring that all human beings can fulfill their potential in dignity and equality and in a healthy environment. Empowering the youth means empowering the majority populace, an essential step towards the achievement of the goals.
Among the 17 SDGs, goal no 1 deals with ending poverty. Goal 8 deals with innovation and infrastructure by building resilient, infrastructure, promoting inclusive and sustainable industrialization and fostering innovation. Goal 8 centers on good jobs and economic growth by promoting sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all. For Africa, the success of these goals are very strongly tied to the success of the robust majority youth. Youth empowerment in the fields of industrialization, business and leadership will help a long way towards making the continent self-sustaining.
Industrialization has been marked by lack of understanding of what it really means. Most people belief that an industry is the big warehouse in industrial area that does manufacturing of paints, cartons, chemicals or any other big brands. An industry is any form of business that produces goods or we can say an industry encompasses businesses of the same type considered as a whole. The second definition justifies the concept that banking is an industry even if it offers service. Industrialization cuts across the board in the field of commerce and business. I watched a clip about agriculture in the Negev desert, Israel where one farmer was very surprised that agriculture is an industry, well, it is.
As the continent’s population increases, and the young population widens, there is an urgent need in the development of key sectors of our economy. These developments are dependent on the young people carrying the front-line mantle. In the western world, the young people are very key innovators in ICT. In Asia and countries like China and India, the youth are among the most active workforce available driving the economies. There seems to be a very direct relationship between the economic rises of the Asian counties to the highly motivated robust youth available in those countries. Kenya and Africa can learn a lot from such economies.
The Kenyan government put in place mechanisms to encourage youth enterprise. The success of the programs lies in the innovation ability in the youth to think on global scale as opposed to national scale. They youth need to embrace agribusiness as a form of earning income and also providing food to the insatiable population growing day and night within the continent. In the city of Nairobi, there are many jobless youth who can be organized into like-minded groups and given the necessary support to innovate around smart farming. Singapore is doing roof top agriculture, in door gardens and rotating farms. As the youth we need to be always aware of where the world of innovation is at current and try to live up to the task.
The world of business and industrialization does not have any limits on who can be a business owner. The ill-fated mindset that manufacturing can only be done by Indians or foreigners only is wrong. We are all capable of becoming industrialists. The youth need to be organized and perhaps hold meetings with those business leaders who can instill and train them in the relevant fields. Apprenticeship is very key aspect in learning the rules of the game. The person who finds an apprentice is like the man who gets a gold mine; the training the person gets helps reduce the mistake they will encounter in following their dreams independently.
Roosevelt, the President of the USA during the great recession of the 1930’s remarked, “The only thing to fear is fear itself.” The Kenyan youth need this to be their motto and mission. We need to follow our dreams and walk in the fields of business, leadership and industrialization to as far as we can. There lies the secret to the greatest hacks of success for all youth.
In leadership, the youth need to be given a say in the policy formulation table. Over the years, we have had a lot of generational changes which also comes with varied needs depending on the kind of generation. There has been the baby boomers, generation X and generation Y better referred to as the millennials. The tastes of all these categories are different. By enabling the youth through creation of an enabling environment, availability of resources and mentorship, the security of tomorrow’s generation is guarded.
The high rates of startups in Israel are being started by young people, the high number of startups in USA, India, China, Singapore, Canada and lately the UAE are found by the young people. This shows how critical the young people need to be incubated in the African continent to bring about the so much needed change. The only things we need to do differently is improve our venture capitalism approaches, develop competitive and supportive systems like research labs and then bridge the gap between government, private sector and the research community. If we get this right then we could have changed the whole course of our economic growth.
Empowering the youth to be industrialists and business people means we have nurtured a very credible amount of leaders to help build our economies and take them to the next level. By empowering the youth in the fields discussed, we could have made a very huge step towards achieving the SDGs. By empowering the youth, we could have made a critical step towards transforming the African continent. The million dollar point lies in the youth realizing that they are the center stage of all these. They need to muscle up and rise up to the occasion. The youth are definitely very critical in roles of economic transformation spurning the fields of business and commerce, Industrialization, community capacity building, peace and leadership.
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