Africa has the youngest population in the world, and it is rapidly growing. The continent is home to over 1.2 billion people, over 60% of whom fall below the age of 25. As recently evidenced in Libya’s modern-day slavery and illegal immigration, the continent is, at times, unfriendly economically and politically for the growing young population.
Unfortunately, the Kenyan Youth faces the same unfriendly economic and political challenges. The youth will risk everything to find green pastures both in and outside the country. Young people often share the same objectives and grievances, usually linked by the negative impacts of globalization and poor governance, and are increasingly part of a common social culture as well. This goes beyond the usual notion that “all young people are idealistic”, even though idealism itself is everything but a negative word, in the context of the major challenges that we are facing. Rather, it speaks of the incredible, untapped potential of the Kenyan Youth who largely hold the same ideas about how to transform our societies for the better through determination and innovative forms of problem-solving.
A conversation is needed! But it is time we not only talk about these issues and ideas. This conversation must occur in a setting respectful and attuned to the diversity of our young people. A setting where young people are at the heartbeat of every conversation, and one that fosters an environment of inclusion and collaboration. We have been able to initiate and foster this inclusion of youth in challenging the status quo and informing solutions for local and global issues. Together, we can connect, be better informed and inspired to transform our societies for the better through innovative forms of problem-solving.