What African Youths Must Do To Scale The Bane Of Regional Poverty -By Stephen Ojo

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Poverty is unfortunately a global phenomenon. However, many regions of the world have one way or the other managed to emancipate themselves from poverty or at least reduced it to a bearable minimum. The above fact doesnā€™t appear to be aĀ significant case in Africa as poverty is still a widespread issue in the regions. The burden of poverty disproportionately affects young Africans who are the future of the continent. It is therefore incumbent on this generation and the next to undertake the necessary actions to combat poverty at the regional level. This article discusses why the African region is poor and suggested must-do approachesĀ to free the continent from the shackles of poverty.

 

WHY IS AFRICA POOR?

Africa is a vast and diverse continent, rich in natural resources and cultural heritage. However, it is no secret that Africa has been struggling to keep pace with the rest of the world in terms of economic development and social progress. The reasons why Africa is lagging are complex and multifaceted, but they can be broadly categorized into several key factors.

One major factor contributing to Africaā€™s relative underdevelopment is historical colonialism. Yes! It is almost impossible to discuss the remote cause of Africaā€™s economic woes without reference to colonialism. Ā Many African countries were colonized by European powers for centuries, which left a deep legacy of economic, political,Ā and social inequality. The European powers explored and exploited the continentā€™s raw material and human resources to build Europe and America. They left few or no benefits for local populations to strive and survive. When African countries gained independence in the mid-twentieth century, they were left without the necessary infrastructure or economic systems to thrive as independent nations.


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Another major factor is the ongoing issue of political instability and corruption. Many countries in Africa continue to struggle with ineffective governance and weak state institutions, which not only hinderĀ economic progress but also makeĀ it difficult to ensure human rights and the rule of law. Where the rule of law is not respected, citizens are disempowered, and foreign investors are discouraged. This fact further exacerbates the economic underdevelopment of many African nations.

In addition, Africa also faces a range of environmental and health-related challenges that are holding back progress. Climate change has caused severe weather outbreaks such as droughts, floods,Ā and desertification, which have disrupted agriculture and led to food insecurity.

Another challenge that holds Africa back is inadequate investment in education and job creation. Despite significant progress in increasing school enrollment rates in recent decades, many African countries still face a shortage of qualified teachers, textbooks, and educational resources. This means that many young people are unable to receive a quality education that prepares them for future job opportunities. With limited access to high-quality education and low-income jobs, many Africans, particularly young people, are trapped in a cycle of poverty.

 

WHAT AFRICAN YOUTH MUST DO

Benjamin Disraeli, onceĀ said, and I quote ā€œAlmost everything great has been done by youth.ā€ It is often said that youth age is a time of enormous energy. Thus, do not use this time to only speculate about problems, but rather go all out to search for possibilities and solutions to these problems as the future of Africa lies in our hands. We must learn from the mistakes of previous generations.

First and foremost, education is key to overcoming poverty. Ā African Youths have to take their education more seriously and pursue it to the highest possible level. Education serves as a means of acquiring knowledge and skills that can be utilized in various sectors of the economy. Go for courses that have global competitiveness like IT, Artificial Intelligence, advancedĀ medicine, etc. This will provide you with opportunities to develop relevant problem-solving skills that are required to address the challenges facing your immediate community and the rest of Africa. Remember only Africans can build a solution chain or technologies that can perfectly solve our everyday problems.

Secondly, we must focus on entrepreneurship as a means of creating employment and reducing poverty. Entrepreneurship can provide an innovative solution to unemployment and create new business opportunities by encouraging the formation of small and medium-sized enterprises. Young Africans can identify gaps in the market and seize opportunities through creativity.

Thirdly, African governments should develop policies that encourage private-sectorĀ investment. Public-private partnerships provide an avenue for the government and private sector to collaborate in creating job opportunities for African youth. The government could also provide tax incentives for investors willing to invest in poverty reduction initiatives.

Fourthly, African youth must prioritize investing in their communities. Civic engagement can lead to the development of solutions that appeal to local needs. you must take the lead in seeking to understand the unique challenges facing your immediate communities and identify solutions tailored to address them.

Finally, African youth must be guided by a spirit of optimism. Despite the many challenges facing the continent, Africa is endowed with vast resources, including a youthful population that could potentially be a game-changer in tackling poverty at the regional level and making Africa a key player in the global economy. Through a positive mindset, the generation of African youth can work together to help lift one another out of poverty.

Despite the many challenges facing Africa, there are also reasons for optimism. Many African countries have made significant progress in recent years, such as improvements in economic growth, social progress, and political stability. Furthermore, many African countries are rich in natural resources, giving them the potential to be self-sufficient and sustainable.

In conclusion, the task of fighting poverty is a shared responsibility, and young Africans must play a key role. Education, entrepreneurship, participation in community service, promotion of private sector investment, and a positive mindset are all critical elements for young Africans to consider when tackling poverty at the regional level. By working together and utilizing available resources, we can successfully conquer poverty and secure a brighter future for the next generation.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Stephen Ojo (LLB, BL, LLM)

He is a Nigerian Lawyer, who resides in England.

 

 

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