An excerpt of President Obama’s speech:
Now, that triumph must be won once more, and it must be won by you. And I am particularly speaking to the young people. In places like Ghana, you make up over half of the population. Here is what you must know: the world will be what you make of it.
You have the power to hold your leaders accountable and to build institutions that serve the people. You can serve in your communities and harness your energy and education to create new wealth and build new connections to the world. You can conquer disease, end conflicts and make change from the bottom up. You can do that. Yes you can. Because in this moment, history is on the move.
But these things can only be done if you take responsibility for your future. It won’t be easy. It will take time and effort. There will be suffering and setbacks. But I can promise you this: America will be with you. As a partner. As a friend. Opportunity won’t come from any other place, though — it must come from the decisions that you make, the things that you do, and the hope that you hold in your hearts.
Freedom is your inheritance. Now, it is your responsibility to build upon freedom’s foundation. And if you do, we will look back years from now to places like Accra and say that this was the time when the promise was realized — this was the moment when prosperity was forged; pain was overcome; and a new era of progress began. This can be the time when we witness the triumph of justice once more. Thank you.
As a follow-up to President Obama’s speech in Parliament during his visit to Ghana, Joy FM’s Super Morning Show opened a discussion on the simple topic: “Do the youth in Ghana have anything to offer?” As always, there were many phone calls and text messages from listeners and lots of ideas were floated. Joy FM had a panel of young career men and women who shared their thoughts as well. I would attempt to share a summary of what I grasped from listening and ask for your own opinion.
- the elders in society protecting their own turf and seen to be competing with younger ones
- assertive youths are always told “there is a procedure” or they are “doing things out of the norm”
- the youth are angry enough to demand the change they need
- nepotism has denied most intellects the platform to perform
- the youth are in school to get a certificate and not to develop themselves; most are over-schooling and under-educating ; they lack basic rudiments to develop themselves
- many young people suffer for the lack of conviction, and have no mission in life
- we need a new kind of politics from people who look beyond their greed
- you must learn to encourage yourself; the power to excel is within you
- develop yourself. Its within you. There are things you can’t learn from the lecture room
- the youth should be positively oriented for service, not the gains nor immediate reward; not assign monetary value to everything we do
- be principled, take responsibility for action, ask for help
- think outside the box to get funds for your ideas; there are channels outside the traditional banking system
- opportunity is created in the mind; act locally, think globally
- leadership must inspire, mentor and encourage
- lets build the content of our character and opportunity would come
So what do YOU think? Do the youth in Africa have anything to offer? What are you doing to make a positive change? Share your thoughts.