Focus: United Nations Sustainable Development Goals: International Youth Day 2017
2017’s THEME: Youth Building Peace
The 2030 Agenda for sustainable development is committed to fostering peaceful and inclusive societies and affirmed that sustainable development cannot be realised without peace and security. It also endure a responsive, inclusive, participatory and representative decision-making at all level at all level. This is why The World Program of Action for Youth, provides a policy frame work and practical guidelines to improve the situation of young people and also promote active involvement of youth in maintaining peace and security.
As the “International Youth Day” (IYD) draw closer, it is very important we remind ourselves some important statistics.
According to the Global Youth Development Index, an initiative of the Commonwealth secretariat, the world youth population is at all-time high, at 1.8 billion people aged 15 to 29, yet the potential for “Generation Hope” to contribute to a happy, healthy and prosperous future for all could be dashed by widespread joblessness, unequal access to health care and education and political influence. The index also show that many counties are experiencing a “Youth bulge” with adolescent and young adults making up a third of the population. This statistics is a green light of ‘demographic dividend” as young people contribute towards economic growth and well-being.
My mind understands that youth form a unique set within the society. They are often considered one of the most vulnerable set within the social fabric, and also regarded as the greatest source of hope for the nation’s future. The 2030 agenda present a viable platform on which youth activeness can be measured. Even though the global goals does not specifically focus on youth, there are reasonable indicators within the SDGs measuring youth development. There are many questions that come to mind when one discusses the SDGs; how informed are the youths about the SDGs? Are there programs in place to get them informed? How well has this programs helped since the inception of the SDGs. A cursory look at Tanzania and its youths on this topic will help answer some of these questions but the focus now will be on how well informed are the Tanzanian youths about the SDGs.
According to the United Nation Association Tanzania, young people aged 15 – 35 years make up 34.7% of the total population. The youth wing of this association called YUNA with the help of the United Nation resident coordinator Mr. Alvaro Rodriquez has rolled out plans and programs to sensitise the youth on the need to take the information to the grassroots. These program among other things train SDGs ambassador with the aim of sending them to rural areas to increase the SDGs awareness. On the average, this programs has worked well so far but more work should be done in terms of penetration, coordination and follow-up activities. The truth is that there are lots of talks, seminars and workshops done and still ongoing but the actions and results are not commensurate. While the forums are steps to dialogue and set the ground, everyday actions are very much need to achieve the global agenda we are passionately pursuing. “I contribute to the SDGs via my volunteering service in Pemba Island teaching the global goals in schools, but there are so many things we all can do since possibilities are truly infinite.”
In conclusion, Africa and other developing nations should as a matter of urgency formulate policies and programs aimed at involving the youths actively to drive the global goals since the only way to fulfill our 2030 mission is strong determination and undeniable potentials embedded in young people.
Article by omajijohn (@omaji_John)
United nation association Tanzania
Global youth population index
Youth of united nation association