The African Youth Initiative on Population, Health and Development joins young persons the world over in celebrating the annual International Youth Day. This year’s international youth day is aptly themed “The Road to 2030: Eradicating Poverty and Achieving Sustainable Consumption and Production” focuses on the leading role young people play in poverty eradication and achieving sustainable development through sustainable consumption and production. This follows up on the theme of last year’s international youth day that examined importance of the engagement and participation of youths in governance and development initiatives.
With about 1.8 billion young persons the world over, this is the youngest the planet has been at any point in time. The youth represent the planet’s most connected, most outspoken and most open-minded demographic, making them key drivers essential to achieving the 2030 agenda for sustainable development particularly in Africa.
African Youths continue to face barriers: high unemployment rate, high prices of goods and services and lack of information about what options are available to making green choices, coupled with the continent’s poor socioeconomic conditions. Instructively, the promotion of green choices is critical to achieving equitable socioeconomic development. This is because green choices increase the eco-efficiency of consumption and also minimize waste and pollution.
Fortunately, African youths are beginning to lead the change and transform the way we produce, behave and consume. Initiatives like Njau Recycling and Income Generation Group in Gambia and Wecyclers in Nigeria are helping to transform wastes to wealth. Many young people are have also established small farms and actively engaged in food production. These highlight the positive contributions of the youth towards sustainable production and consumption.
From the foregoing, AfrYPoD calls on heads of governments in Africa to empower the youth in their countries or localities through policies and funding support to drive sustainable production and consumption; this will enable Africa achieve food security, job creation, environmental sustainability and poverty alleviation. We recommend that all stakeholders adopt cross-sectoral approach to sustainability and focus on the social, political, economic and environmental dimensions of sustainable consumption and production.
Dr Laz Ude Eze – President