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Youth Must Prove That They Can Lead
By Abdirizak ahmed hassan (karaani)
The past few months has seen intensified clamor for youth leadership.Depate has been raging in the media and elsewhere about the need for the youth to take over the leadership of the country and participate in shaping its destiny.
That there is no need for a generational change in leadership is not in question. There are many who argue that if Africa is to grow then it needs fresh ideas which can mainly come from the youth.
However before the youth can stake claim on leadership, they have to tackle a number of challenges.
First, the campaign to empower youth politically must shift to rural areas. Despite the fact that a majority of youth live in villages, the campaign to empower and motivate them to play a bigger role in political process has been concentrated in towns.
There is urgent need to educate and enlighten rural youth so that they can be weaned off their previous existence in which they were mere pawns in the game of aspiring politicians.
NARROW POLITICAL INTERESTS:
Second. there is need to define the youth. Campaigners for youth empowerment need to avoid restrictive definitions that may isolate them from the rest of society.
Third, the campaign to empower youth politically needs to be shielded from narrow political interests. it is obvious that politicians would love to hijack the movement. Already number of them are angling to reap from the windfall that may accrue when the youth resolve to work together as group in the next coming elections.
The truth is that the idea behind empowering the youth is to enable them make sound, critical and reasoned decisions politically. they want to determine the destiny of this country.
Their aim is not simply to have a few cabinet posts dolled out to a few of their so-called representatives, neither is it simple window dressing will not do.
The aim of the movement is to transform Somaliland's political landscape. it is to open up politics at all levels to allow for the participation of all people regardless of age, sex, creed, or socio-economic standing.
The youth simply want a level playing field where anyone can compete and fairly win or lose.
It should not fall for attempts by politicians to rebrand the sons of some politicians as the automatic youth leaders.
The youth should be willing to support a person not merely because of age or political connection, but because that person has a vision for the nation.
Fourth, the campaign to empower youth politically must proceed simultaneously with the campaign for the creation of justice and fair constitutional order. A generational change in leadership will definitely not offer a panacea to Somaliland's many problems such as corruption, tribalism or negative ethnicity misrule or pork barrel politics and isolation from the world (recognition).
The evils afflicting the country will definitely persist until new political parties are organized.
Fifth, before the youth can expect the rest of the nation to bestow the weighty mantle of leadership on them, they will have to pass the patriotism test. The older generations, who have enjoyed the fruits of independence, will not be willing to leave power so easily, some of them do not even trust young generation with leadership. In a nutshell, the youth must play a bigger role in the country's politics.
The disconnect between the youth and the political process must addressed urgently, as it likely to lead to a weakening of the democratic process.
Careful planning and scheming:
Nevertheless, the youth need to be cognizant of the fact that their rise to national leadership will not be easy. it requires hardwork, careful planning and scheming. The older generation will not willingly cede power just because the youth want.
But the wind of change is blowing and in favor of the youth. The challenge is for them to organize themselves and be ready to seize the opportunity with a view of making a real difference in the history of this nation.
by:Abdirizak ahmed karaani