Mov­ing from Ideas to Youth Em­pow­er­ment

Sunday Observer - - FEATURES -

Hav­ing the hon­our of host­ing dif­fer­ent del­e­gates from 13 other African coun­tries this week was a priv­i­lege for JA Eswa­tini.

This gave an op­por­tu­nity for JA Eswa­tini to learn as well as share some meth­ods with the rest of the African con­ti­nent on how youth em­pow­er­ment can move from ideas into a real prac­ti­cal con­cept. The JA in schools co­op­er­a­tives model has been iden­ti­fied as one strat­egy that can be used to fos­ter en­trepreneur­ship among the youth. To­day we shall re­visit some of the dis­cus­sions and ideas shared that were deem suit­able for African coun­tries to move from ideas of youth em­pow­er­ment into fos­ter­ing en­trepreneur­ship through the co­op­er­a­tives model.

The ed­u­ca­tion sys­tem of the African con­ti­nent was an­a­lysed a lit­tle closer in terms of iden­ti­fy­ing if in­deed it sup­ports young peo­ple to im­ple­ment en­trepreneur­ship. The min­istry of com­merce in­dus­try and trade, through the PS, in the per­son of Al­bert Chibi ex­plained that fi­nan­cial lit­er­acy in Africa was not so much of a con­cern in the minds of cur­ricu­lum de­vel­op­ers for all school­ing lev­els.

This un­for­tu­nately is a true re­flec­tion of what hap­pens in our ed­u­ca­tion sys­tem in Africa. Young peo­ple go to school to learn dif­fer­ent con­cepts that are some­times dif­fi­cult to trans­late into real life. The skills that are re­quired by young peo­ple to have a knowhow of how to man­age their per­sonal fi­nances are con­cepts that are not in­cor­po­rated in the ed­u­ca­tion of an African Child. This there­fore calls for newer strate­gies to be iden­ti­fied such as the in school co­op­er­a­tives con­cept that will in­tro­duce fi­nan­cial lit­er­acy to learn­ers in schools. As they grow older, the con­cept of wealth cre­ation through col­lab­o­ra­tive ef­forts will be­come a cul­ture for young peo­ple. The Euro­pean Union del­e­ga­tion to the King­dom of Eswa­tini recog­nised that au­thor­i­ties in Eswa­tini give young peo­ple a voice and that His Majesty the King holds the vi­sion that fo­cuses on in­clud­ing young peo­ple in de­ci­sion mak­ing.

“The main re­spon­si­bil­ity how­ever, still rests with young peo­ple them­selves to get or­gan­ised, to at­tain the nec­es­sary skills, to tackle the ad­ver­si­ties be­cause the ul­ti­mate prom­ise of youth par­tic­i­pa­tion is re­duced unem­ploy­ment and poverty,” she said. While strate-- gies may be de­signed to as­sist young peo­ple move from ideas to youth em­pow­er­ment, the real chal­lenge is whether young peo­ple will rise to the chal­lenge and or­gan­ise them­selves to take up these op­por­tuni- ties. While co­op­er­a­tives are a great model that young peo­ple use to be ac­tively in­volved in their own wealth cre­ation, it is im­por­tant that young peo­ple rise to the oc­ca­sion and take the avail­able struc­tures. Doc­tor

Some of the young peo­ple that were at the fore front of dis­cus­sion around youth co­op­er­a­tives lead­ing dis­cus­sions as a panel.

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