Our country’s government (and perhaps I must say governments, since we so far have had 3 presidents and governments) have been talking of youth unemployment and poverty for more than 25 years now.
I have been hearing these terminologies since my teenage-hood days at the time when it literally meant nothing much to me, as at the time I was a young boy at school and didn’t see its importance.
I have questions to our leaders entrusted with resource distribution in our motherland.
My questions are: Do we truly know and understand unemployment? Do we really know what poverty is? What are we doing to address these two jointly or separately, seriously and significantly? Do we only talk about this the moment a camera and a recorder is placed in front of us or do we go home and think over and over again about these ills? Do we know the true effects of these two? Do we know the future of the “left-to-be” unemployment/poverty?
What is it that we are planning to end these evils? And what are we omitting in our planning that makes poverty and unemployment so persistent? Do we know what the term “future poverty” mean?
I once attended a very crucial regional meeting on NEEEF and I raised my point on unemployment and poverty. As far as it’s important to fight current poverty and unemployment, I strongly believe that we can eradicate poverty by eradicating “future unemployment” and “future poverty”.
If we start with steps that aim at ending unemployment and poverty in the future, we surely can talk of poverty eradication and end to famine.
But as far as I am concerned, feeding people with food handouts will never eradicate poverty, the same as relying on UN & US aid. It will rather prolong it and probably increase it!
Looking and studying the elements of unemployment/poverty can give us a good understanding of what poverty cycle is comprised of, and what it entails. I continue to ask questions: Who are the people in poverty? Why are they in poverty? How did they end up in poverty? How can we lift them from this abject poverty? What do the people in poverty have in common? Once lifted out of poverty, do we have people returning to poverty? If they do, why do they return to poverty?
My next concern runs down to our Grade 10/12 failures. What plans does our government have for these masses? For we know little over if not under 50% of leaners don’t make it in grades 10/12 each year, where do these people end up? And you expect crime rate to drop when you do not intervene with rescue plan for these masses? Are we a super power in progressive production of poverty and unemployment?
I therefore think it’s time our government looked at our education and reform it to concur with our needs, provide channels to absorb our school failures and dropouts, stop food handouts and provide our people with opportunities to work for themselves and earn a better living.
Provide resources such as productive land for our people to farm and employ a strict monitoring system to ensure effective land use, remove that redline and open business opportunities to our northern farmers, create economic empowerment schemes that are aimed at empowering our black people , combat corruption and work towards transparent systems for the benefit of the masses.
I strongly believe we can do better especially if we put more effort and prioritise on matters of national importance because if we fail to address future poverty, no one will be safe in the future as the forces of poverty and unemployment will take their toll to the detriment of the elite-few. And the peace we boast about will perish!