Developing youth as global citizens involves a process by which young people are empowered with resources and opportunities that will allow them to achieve their full potentials and contribute meaningfully to society. The emerging global challenges of 21 st century require
the evolution of youth rising to their responsibilities, and civic duties to build a sustainable world that left no one behind. But how do we make it happen? How do we support the youth to become a Global Citizen? How do we support youth to contribute individually or as a team providing solutions to the most pressing local and global challenges? It is most important to create a global resourceful platform and opportunities that will enable youth to gain confidence, strengthen their competence as a present and future leader and make them capable of contributing positively to global development. Youth inclusions in Government policies that enabled them to be part of developing solutions to issues relevant to their leadership developments, through this; we are preparing them for future and present solutions to global challenges. Furthermore, youth active involvement in the processes of development can help them develop self-worth, confidence, and most importantly social and intellectual competencies which can provide an important foundation to fulfill their civic responsibilities and duties. Additionally, engaging young people in issues pertinent to their livelihoods and by recognizing that leadership experiences are transformed by the youth who participate in them can go a long way in shaping youth mindset, making them become more informed to community problems, identify solutions, and implement strategy which are all important leadership experiences that create significant and long-lasting positive impacts on youth development.
Every nation must focus on creating enabling environments in which her youth matters, where life-building skills are encouraged and included as extra curriculum activities in schools from college to university level. This includes teamwork, self-responsibility, cooperation, leadership, and communication, among others, so as to be able to cope properly in society. These skills are a very important goal of positive youth development at all level.
How to motivate youth to care beyond their own background
- Education and empowerment: Access to education is not only a fundamental human right but the key to achieving all sustainable development goals which is the basis for inclusion and empowerment. In order to bring out the best among global youth, there is need to enhance access to education at all levels and equip youth with not just technical skills and competencies but critical thinking, cultural immersion, fair dealings, creative and entrepreneurial mindsets that will strengthen youth potential to scale their innovative ideas and create more economic opportunities.
- Citizen Engagement: Creating a global platform that fosters on human-centered activities including discussions, field trips, mentoring, training, and cultural immersions activities to develop ideas, build skills and connects with others towards impactful leadership positions. Access to funds and networking opportunities will strengthen youth competencies to provide solutions to global challenges.
- Enabling Environment: Youth inclusions in government policies that enabled free and open access to all Government information’s they need and allow them the opportunity to interact and actively participate in government development projects and how they are governed. A centralized technology-based mechanism for citizen’s recommendations and feedback on transparency, good governance and accountability should be adopted. This will create mutual benefits between the Government and citizens thus strengthen developments at all level.
Movement with youths around the world
A particular area that needs more urgent attention is the implementation of strong institutions or policies that prepare youths to believe or share the same objectives globally for impactful social and economic development. There is an urgent need to build global strong institutions that recognize youth as a driving force, a means to an end, not a means to itself for rapid socio-economic development, youth access to strong institutions will enable them to become productive and proactive in providing solutions to local and global challenges.
What youth are concerned with and how they manifest their own power
Evidence has indicated that youth are concerned with basic needs, social security, sound policies, strong institutions, effective and efficient investment in public goods and services when youths have them; it gives them a sense of belonging and help to attain a height of responsibilities. Furthermore supporting youth with knowledge and training skills needed to make good decisions, take responsibilities, make a difference and positively influence and impact others through leadership roles and responsibilities. Many youths have already manifested their power positively through social media influence and participation in capacity-building programs, including advocacy and education.
Adewumi, Mojisola is the founder and CEO of 21st Century Entrepreneurs Initiative and is featured as a Youth Impact Game Changer in this edition