Kofi Anan: Let’s Give African Youths A Chance



Kofi Anan Dialogues– The future of every nation lies not in the wealth of its economy but in its human resources. In which case we will be directly and largely referring to the youths.

Saddened by the reality of the dejected and commonly neglected state of the younger generation, Former UN Sec. Gen, Kofi Anan registered his point of view.

According to the Ghanaian national he is appalled by the trajectory that the continent is taking towards the youths.

First he debunked the supposition that the present day youth is often unwilling to participate in the leadership system.

“Wherever I go, from Accra to New York to Bangkok, I am struck by how often a young person will ask me: ‘How can I be a good global citizen?'”

“This is hardly the question of a disinterested, insular group, yet it is said that this generation lacks the drive, the passion and the “get-up-and-go” attitude of previous generations.”

Kofi says that in his experience in several countries of the world, that the reverse is the case.

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He says the growing generation are at the stage of their lives where they have the vibe and energy to be part and parcel of the system.

Turning the table around, he blamed the older generation for sidelining the youth for so long. They are often forgotten while chasing the shadows of politics.

“It is clear that the sense of disillusionment that many young people feel for our political institutions reflects the fact that they have been sidelined by them.”

“If young people do not think that they can make a difference through these institutions and processes, should we really be surprised at their ambivalence towards them?”

Kofi will be echoing once again the sentiments of Pope Francis as well as the youngest South African Parliamentarian, Hlomela Bucwa on the place of youths.

Without any blind argument, there is no iota of doubt that however, the youth turn out today is largely determined by the leadership of the older generation most of whom by the way, are allergic to officially retiring from “inactive” service.



As much as it is a cause of worry that young people are growing less and less enthused by politics, Kofi maintains that is is an outcome of mistreating them by way of denying them education and rooms to participate in politics.

“The grievances of young people are understandable. They have been the least responsible for the economic downturn, yet have paid the heaviest price in terms of lost jobs and dashed prospects.”

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We all believe that children are the leaders of tomorrow, but how can that be when they have not been carried along or even considered in government?

Lately, there has been a slight sign of inclusiveness by few African countries where for a change we have an unusual younger person manning some political affairs. Still, that is not enough.

Inspired by the plight of the young people, Kofi started an online interactive platform Kofi Annan Dialogues. This is where he gets the opportunity to engage in pro-active conversations with young people from every part of the world; from activists to advocates of change and entrepreneurs.

As a testimony to his findings, he realized that if given the chance, young people can make the world a better place.

“Committed to finding solutions to some of our most enduring challenges, they show just how much young people have to offer if given the opportunity to step up and take on leadership roles.”

“Speaking with this group, I am convinced more than ever that any society that does not succeed in tapping into the energy and creativity of its youth will be left behind.”

For anyone who still doubts if young people have anything to offer, Kofi gave a practical example with the modern day technology.

Without the young generation, Africa will be lost out in globalization. Every part of the continent has a good number of budding self-trained tech-inventors who seek a broader opportunity and support from the government to advance their creations.

Once again Kofi affirms that young people deserve the chance, space, and encouragement to participate and lead.

“When it comes to formulating innovative ideas and galvanising action, it is clear that we older generations have much to learn from young people.”

“They are not apathetic or disengaged; they are simply savvy enough to know that we are not listening to them.”

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