Dr Samia Abbas, Secretary-General of the Union of African Journalists, on Monday urged Africa Heads of State, to make investment in the youth a major priority.
She said young people across the world were becoming ‘game changers, ’ and Africa’s youth must be given the chance to contribute their quota.
Dr. Abbas was leading a discussion on “Vision of the African Youth towards a common conception of promoting the continent, ” at the 45th Young African Journalists training course in Cairo, Egypt.
The training is under the auspices of the Union of African Journalists with support from the Egyptian
government, and aimed at sharing ideas towards finding solutions to challenges facing the continent.
Dr Abbas said it was not enough for leaders on the continent to refer to the youth as future leaders, but to “invest and prepare them to take up leadership roles today.”
She said the continent had potentials in agriculture, commerce and tourism, and challenged governments to create the enabling environment for young people to go into those ventures.
“We must create space for our young people now. We must make farming attractive and give them start-up capitals so they can do things for themselves and build Africa,” Dr. Abbas stated.
She chastised political parties on the continent for being only interested in using young people to win political power, and said it was time they invested in the youth for sustainable growth.
Dr Abbas also advised the youth to be inventive and endeavour to create opportunities for themselves.
“Young people in China, Japan and other developed countries, take care of themselves at age 18. We can do same by not despising small beginnings, and not thinking that white colour job is the best,” she said.
Some participants lamented about the unemployment situation on the continent vis-a-vis Africa’s potential for economic growth, and said it was time African governments believed in the youth, and supported them to develop the local economies. GNA