By: Alieu Badara Lowe
Youth empowerment is a universal concept with transformative potential that transcends geographical boundaries. Whether in developed or developing countries, empowering youth is profound and far-reaching. Developed countries have already reaped the benefits of youth empowerment while developing countries stand to gain immensely by investing in their young population. This article explores the impact of youth empowerment in developed countries and delves into why developing countries should prioritize and invest in their youth for sustainable growth and progress.
Empowered youth in developed countries often drive innovation and technological advancements. They are more likely to engage in entrepreneurial ventures, leading to economic growth, job creation, and increased competitiveness on a global scale. Investing in education and technology in developing countries will empower young minds to create innovative solutions tailored to the unique challenges faced by their communities, driving sustainable development.
In developed countries, empowered youth are at the forefront of social movements, advocating for equality, justice, and environmental sustainability. Their activism influences policy changes, shaping more inclusive and responsive societies to diverse needs. Therefore, by providing youth in developing countries like the Gambia with opportunities for education, employment, and civic engagement, they can contribute to social stability and conflict prevention, and empowered youth are less likely to engage in violence or extremism.
A country like The Gambia should engage youth in the decision-making process and fosters a culture of accountability, transparency, and good governance, contributing to the long-term stability of developing nations. Empowered youth actively participate in civic and political processes. Their engagement fosters a more vibrant democracy, bringing fresh perspectives and ideas to policy discussions and decision-making.
In developed countries, youth empowerment is closely tied to education and skill development. By equipping young individuals with relevant skills and knowledge, societies benefit from a highly skilled workforce contributing to sustained economic prosperity. Empowered youth can contribute to the global market by participating in international collaborations, trade, and innovation, enhancing the global competitiveness of their countries.
My country, The Gambia, should prioritize universal access to quality education, especially for girls and marginalized communities, to equip youth with foundational skills and knowledge and to provide vocational training and technical skills that align with local job markets, empowering youth to contribute effectively to economic growth, establish programs that offer mentorship, access to capital, and business development resources for young entrepreneurs.
In conclusion, youth empowerment is a catalyst for positive change, regardless of a country’s level of development. In developed countries, it has led to innovation, economic growth, and social progress. In developing countries, youth empowerment can drive inclusive growth, innovation, social stability, and sustainable development. Developing countries like The Gambia can unlock a demographic dividend that propels them towards a brighter, more equitable future by investing in their youth.