The African Public Relations Association (APRA) has called on African Union (AU) to drive youth inclusion programmes to avoid incessant unrest on the continent.
Yomi Badejo-Okusanya, APRA President, in a statement on the EndSARS crisis, said that African leaders must “wake up and smell this coffee” before it is too late for them.
“The AU must develop a dynamic and impactful Youth Development Policy that clearly maps out how the youth on the continent can leverage opportunities and compete effectively with their peers in other climes, otherwise its Agenda 2063 will return hollow, “he said.
According to him, Africa cannot achieve its full potentials if its youth are fleeing to western countries where they perceive and know that the opportunities are far better for them.
He said that most governments in Africa practice some form of gerontocracy which inputs wisdom to the older generation with extraordinarily little room for the youth.
“Africa cannot continue to stifle the chances of her youths with the elders holding on to offices for life.
“As much as the wisdom of the older generation is valued, it must be blended with the creativity and ingenuity of the youth for the continent to achieve its goals and originality,” he said.
The APRA president commended organisations such as the Tony Elumelu Foundation, Access Bank and African Development Bank had initiated programmes to uplift the youth of Africa.
“As commendable as the efforts are, it is like a drop in the ocean.
“We need more corporate organisations working within and outside Africa, to place in much larger quantum, opportunities, and resources for the African Youth to be the best he or she can be,”he said.
Badejo-Okusanya said EndSARS protest was a symbolic approach of all the societal ills of poor governance and the determination of the youth to reverse the trend and take their country back.
“The youth were pressing for changes in all ramifications of governance that eschews vices like corruption, avarice, greed, intolerance, ineffective leadership, and dictatorship,” he said.
Badejo-Okusanya urged federal government to set up impartial panel of enquiry to determine the immediate and remote causes of the EndSARS protest, especially the Lekki shootings.
He said that the youth must also be ready to take power legitimately through the ballot box, noting that they had the numbers.
He advised that their hitherto nonchalant attitude to local, state and national politics must also stop.
“The youth must understand that they have the power and must no longer remain content to receive handouts from unscrupulous politicians in exchange for their future.
“They must be ready to take power legitimately through the ballot box. They have the numbers.
“Also, the very educated ones must carry along the less educated, the privileged must look out for the underprivileged, ensuring no one is left behind. After all it is a collective battle,” Badejo-Okusanya said. (NAN)
– Oct. 27 2020 @ 8:55 GMT |