Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Wednesday, December 13th, 2017

Role of Young Generation

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Role of Young Generation

The young generation is able to change their life and ultimately change a nation if they do not exclude from long term policies and programs. Young people are often heralded as the leaders of tomorrow, yet in reality they are already leading important changes today. Young people have proven capabilities, and are contributing to national life — whether they work in private enterprise, public sector or with voluntary organizations. They should be seen not only as the beneficiaries or as passive recipients of support rather, they should be recognized in their own right as dynamic human capital, custodians and innovators in development. The common refrain — that “young people are the leaders of tomorrow” — is true, but it can do this rising generation a disservice because young people are leading tomorrow’s change today.
In spite of least investments, the achievements of young Afghans give reason for optimism. They have made their people proud, given them moments to celebrate, and have inspired others through their accomplishments in sports, education, politics, media, and entertainment. Cricket, for example, a game becoming increasingly popular around the world, has helped unify people in Afghanistan. During the 1980s and 90s, Afghan kids learned to play cricket in refugee camps in Peshawar, Pakistan. In 2002, they came back home and started playing for their country, forming Afghanistan’s first national cricket team. In just 10 years, with very limited resources, these young people went from playing in refugee camps to obtaining “One Day International” status enabling them to play against cricket giants like Australia, India, and Pakistan.
Afghanistan’s first Olympic appearance was in 1936 in Berlin. Due to the Soviet invasion and civil war, for decades, the country’s participation in the Olympic Games was inconsistent. Slowly, Afghan athletes began getting back on track, and, in 2004, they participated in the Olympic Games in Athens. Rohullah Nikpah, an Afghan taekwondo player, made history in the 2008 Olympics in Beijing when he won Afghanistan’s first ever Olympic medal. He won a second one at the London Olympics in 2012 defeating his British counterpart.
The Afghan media environment has particularly benefited from the energy and commitment of the country’s young people. In a country that a decade ago had only one radio and one TV station strictly controlled by the Taliban, there are now over hundreds of independent TV and radio stations. Young graduates from university journalism faculties, and even from high school, have been flocking to these stations to report on news, produce entertainment programs, and develop a solid media sector. Some young journalists opened their own stations in their villages.
The challenge is whether they can sustain these promising developments. If the international community and the Afghan government are committed to a better Afghanistan, they must work to help mitigate the brain drain that continues to threaten the country’s future, and ensure its young people feel hopeful and confident that there will be a better tomorrow. The Youths are talented but perishable; if the national policies do not support them they can play destructive role: they join enemy or mafia groups; they can be addicted; they can be kidnappers; eventually they can fill the prisons or leave the country. Last year with sixty eight thousand refugees Afghanistan got the second place in the world while they had left High School or universities.
Bolstering the private sector and encouraging entrepreneurship are important solution toward lessening the issues. But unfortunately, the approach is contrariwise in Afghanistan, as it is already reported that 50% private sectors mitigated just within current year due to wrong policies. These can make thousands of young Afghan whether leave the country or join the criminals. Military force and foreign aid have long been considered the optimal way out for Afghanistan’s long-standing instability. Ill-informed military generals and hawkish policies, reckless and unaccountable international aid, and an enterprise of corrupt Afghan politicians have resulted in increased violence, civilian casualties, corruption, and impunity. No one in this Afghan quagmire seems to be taking the right steps and learning from their mistakes. This has made Afghanistan the center of many failures, a laboratory for testing military and civilian strategies, and a lawless land where corruption has become the national currency and impunity a motto for top Afghan politicians.
Having suffered heavy human and material losses, Afghans remain in an uncertain situation. Afghans expected foreign military intervention would bring long-term security. They expected international aid would help their country develop political institutions, economic infrastructure, and the professional capacity for self-reliance that would break the old dependence on outside assistance. They expected their leaders would work together to improve day life for average Afghans, create employment opportunities, and establish the rule of law. Unfortunately, all dreams came out untrue.
The ultimate solution is that young people should be at the forefront of national programs and priorities. Empowered, they can be key agents for development and peace. Future of Afghanistan should rest in the hands of Afghans themselves, especially the younger generation. The majority of Afghanistan’s population – about 60 percent – is between 15 and 25 years old.  These young people are a great asset for the stability of their country. Afghanistan’s future depends on how they are integrated into society, the kind of educational and employment opportunities they have, and how they are inspired to contribute to rebuilding efforts. If they are left on society's margins, all of us will be impoverished.
"No one is born a good citizen; no nation is born a democracy. Rather, both are processes that continue to evolve over a lifetime. Young people must be included from birth. A society that cuts off from its youth severs its lifeline."  -- Kofi Annan

Mohammad Zahir Akbari is the newly emerging writer of the Daily Outlook Afghanistan. He can be reached at mohammadzahirakbari@gmail.com

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