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International Youth Day

This International Youth Day we highlight the work that Amujae Leaders are doing to provide young people with the best start in life, and the skills to build a more inclusive and equal world. 

Recently, Amujae Leader Dr. Yakama Manty Jones emphasized the importance of funding within the early childhood education space. In an article penned for her website, Dr Manty Jones stressed that well-funded pre-primary education is vital for creating an environment in which every young person can reach their full potential and ensure that no child is left behind in their formative early years.

In addition to access to high-quality pre-primary education, another major issue confronting the youth of today is unemployment. Amujae Leader and CEO of Lagos State Employment Trust Fund (LSETF) Tejumola Abisoye has been working to highlight the role that African governments can play in tackling the crisis of youth unemployment. In an article for Apolitical Ms Abisoye outlined steps that the public and private sectors can take to support today’s youth, while also highlighting the importance of listening to, and learning from the experience of young people in order to drive meaningful change. 

Concerningly, both these issues have been exacerbated further over the last 18-months. The COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionately impacted young people, and focusing on youth unemployment and gender inequality throughout recovery will be imperative for ensuring we build back a more inclusive and equal world, where youth are met with opportunities and support, rather than unemployment and poor provision of education and skills development. As Amujae Leader Dr. Adaeze Oreh outlined in a recent article in Global Issues, there are very high rates of youth unemployment in West and Central Africa. To tackle this, investment in key industries will be critical to help utilize young people as a key resource and boost the region’s economic development. This focus on youth employment would enable young people to contribute to the recovery from the pandemic in sectors such as agriculture, education, and health, boosting the economies of their countries and contributing to overall development.

Ultimately, as Former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf discussed at the recent 2021 Annual General Meeting of the Liberian Girls Guard Association, today’s leaders have a responsibility to foster an inclusive and equitable environment in which young people can thrive: 

The future lies with us, so long as we can respond to the educational and social needs and set an example for the younger ones, so they can look to us as role models and see themselves in what they are taught.

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