Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Wednesday, October 18th, 2017

Challenges and Opportunities for Youths in Afghanistan

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Challenges and Opportunities for Youths in Afghanistan

Youth are the integral part of every society. They are considered as the nation builder and are the biggest force of every society. The youths have potential energy to transform the society. In the course of history revolutions happened by the force of the youths only. Youths have zeal to work, ideas to create and skills to implement.
According to the Central Statistics Organization (CSO) in 2011, 68 per cent of Afghanistan’s population of around 26.5 million people was under the age of 25, with people between the ages of 15 to 24 years accounting for 40 per cent of the total population.
However, today’s society is a struggle for tomorrow and tomorrow is for the youths. Afghanistan government should not just undermine the power of the youths, but rather utilize it in a good way. Their dreams must not be killed but nourished. They are the greatest force of the society even today.
The war that we have inherited from the past generation must not be carried forward any farther. This is the responsibility of the present generation to teach the young generation on why to live in peace and harmony. We must show them in many ways about how the war once destroyed our country. We must build museums of war/destructions/ crimes and show the youths the consequence that the civil war brings. For instance Darul-Aman Palace in front of the Parliament House by itself is a sample of museum of civil war.  Afghanistan has already experienced once. There is no need for repetition of the same, but rather a big lesson for the youths. Perhaps if we are bleeding because of the endless war and the chaos, we must write a message with our blood to the next generation to not come to this path again.
Although majority of the youths in Afghanistan have already realized the consequences of civil wars. They launch anti-war campaigns during political tensions. They give slogans of unity, brotherhood, inviting each other for peace. The numbers of youths give hatred slogans are very few compare to the number of youths believe in peace and harmony. However, if the current politicians of the country cannot lead them in a better future, they at least should not make the situation worse by playing with the sentiments of the youths.
The future of Afghanistan lies in the hands of the youths. The government of Afghanistan must pay attention to the huge number of youth population. The youths are keen to observe everything that is going on with their society. In the first hand, the government must provide quality education to them and provide other facilities for them to grow.
For the future of Afghanistan youths are the best reserve. The government of Afghanistan must invest in youths by defining the strategic objectives for the youths and figuring out the greater involvement of the youths in the development of the country.  The integration of youths in political and other social activities is very crucial. They are the future and they need to take part in their future. Moreover, Investment in youth talents will lead to eradication of poverty, peace building, minimizing corruption, declining crimes and they overall helps effectively in the development of the country.
Perhaps this is one of the ways to minimize corruption. Youths are energetic and enthusiastic to work. They are more willing to cope up with the changes.  They don’t resist change. They are filled with ambitions and dreams. They should be given the chances to exercise their talents and energy. 
On the other hand if the youth energy is not utilized in a proper way, they could be misled in a very destructive way. Crime will increase in many ways. For instance, if we take the example of Kabul city, by seeing every clubs such as body building, snookers, swimming pools, game zones and other youth gatherings places, we see all occupied almost 24/7. Of course it is good that they are occupying themselves with sport stuffs but, not forgetting the fact that a vast number of them are there because of unemployment. This case is just in Kabul. In provinces the case gets a lot worse. In unsecure parts of Afghanistan insurgent groups use from this situation, influence them and hire them for far worse.  They will be used by insurgent groups to fight against their own country. In other parts of Afghanistan where there are no active insurgent groups, the youths fall into the hands of human traffickers and smugglers. Large numbers of them are leaving the country every year and suffer the harsh environment of immigrations. For some of them reach overseas while others lives are wasted inside the migration camps or some even dies.
Youths can play multifaceted role in a society. They can be heroes if invested, saviors if used in a right way. Yet they can be victims as of today. It is towards the government’s advantage to invest and use from the youth talents. Government need to regard them not as a problem but solutions to all other opportunities.  Youth talents are the only reliable asset that the government can invest in.

Government must include young people in decision making and development process. Youth perspectives are very important in decision making process. Young people need to be actors and participate in power and other activities that affect their lives. They must contribute to sustainable social, economic and political progress of their country.  

Sakhi Danish is the newly emerging writer of the Daily Outlook Afghanistan. He can be reached at the outlookafghanistan@gmail.com

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