- TheTick Times Saturday Jul 09, 2016
When one looks at the youth of this age, dishearteningly, there is always a reflection of what youth are, in the Dark Age. The actions of these days’ youth prompt alarming questions. Today, In all corners of Africa, the youth are not only passive, but among them, we have those who are desirous of wealth that they do what will not pronounce their glories afterward.
The concern given to education in the past has faded into obscurity this time that our youth are even predisposed to research and technology. Education, the glory of the past, continues to breed youth with no sense of thought or a desire to propel their country, let alone Africa.
When one thinks that Africa is in great need of youth to man certain positions, the question of who among the then can withstand agony involved in that aspect reflects. Then, when no youth is available to stand and do the needful as experienced in the past, we are left with the questions: What is the future of African youth? Are their actions not defying there future? Are youth not being affected by their elder who are often in the position to make decision for the future of their country, whereas when that future comes, these elders are long gone, dip down in their graves?
At this point, let us understand the set of people been referred to as youth. There is no universal definition for the age bracket of youth as it varies from place to place. In the African Youth Report (2009), “youth” are defined as people between 15 and 39 years of age. While some African countries like Ghana, South Africa classify youth as those between age 15-39, whereas, in Nigeria and Switzerland it ranges from 15-35 years. Generally, it can be viewed that youth do not exceed between the age of 15 and 45.
According to the United Nations (2012), the population of Africa in 2011 was estimated at 1.05 billion and is expected to double by 2050. In the estimate, Africa is the youngest continent in the world with about 70 percent of its population being 30 years of age or younger. In the same 2011, youth between 15 and 24 years of age constitutes 21 percent of the more than 1 billion people in Africa. However, another 42 percent was less than 15 years old, the age range for tomorrow’s potential youth and leaders.
This above estimate places about 200 million people aged between 15 and 24 under youth bracket, meaning Africa has the youngest population in the world. The current trend indicates that this figure will double by 2045, according to the 2012 African Economic Outlook
Africa is believed to have the fastest youth growth population in the world.
However, the axiom, that regions with high population of youth are accompanied by enriched excellence such as large and effective labour force, creative and innovative ideas, improved technology, increased elites, good governance, improved economy among others, does not work for Africa.
Africa, instead of growth is characterised by appalling situations. Although, the labour force of Africa is quite enormous, but what is the use of a large but ineffective resources as most African youth of today are lazy and not creative.
It is also believed that every strong nation is pillared by youth. What is the strength of Africa? Who pillars Africa?
At this point, two questions surged again: Is Africa not being affected by aged leaders, do these leaders have 21st century required skills?
As hitherto said, Africa is regarded as the youngest continent in the world, but why are its leaders old?
Yoweri Museveni, 71, is the President of Uganda, and has been in power since 1986.
Robert Mugabe, 91, is the incumbent President of Zimbabwe. He gained power in 1987 and since then has been ruling Uganda to farming.
Beji Caid Essebsi, 89, is the President of Tunisia. He gained power in 2014.
Paul Biya, President of Cameroon, is 83 years old, and has been in office since 1982.
Abdelaziz Bouteflika is Algerian President. He is 79, and has been in this position since 1999.
Alpha Conde, Guinean President, is 78 years old, and gained power in 2010.
Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Liberian President, is 77 years old. She has been in office since 2006. She is the first democratically elected female head of state in Africa.
Jacob Zuma is South African President. He is 74, and has been President since 2009.
Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, President of Equatorial Guinea, is 74 years. He has been ruling since 1979. Teodoro has faced allegations of corruption, particularly in relations to oil resources of the country. Upon this, he won the last elections in 2009 with over 95% of the vote. His son had served as Minister of Agriculture and Forestry in his father's government before being appointed as Second Vice-President, in charge of defense and security, in May 2012. He was promoted to First Vice-President in June 2016.
Muhammad Buhari, 72, is Nigerian President. Buhari became the President of Nigeria in 2015, after he unsuccessfully ran for the office of President in the 2003, 2007 and 2011 general elections
Must the old dictate for you? Do African youth have the criteria to become leaders this time that Africa needs think tanks?