International Youth Day 2020 Theme:
The theme for this year’s International Youth Day 2020 “Youth Engagement for Global Action” seeks to highlight the ways of meaningful youth engagement in various sectors and at different levels nationally and globally.
In the quest to engage youths in various processes and levels, one must understand first what they are passionate about, what drives them in life, where and how do they gather information, the values they hold dear to them and what contribution they can make in the decision and policy setting processes.
Bridging the knowledge capacity gap for youth through education, training and sensitization to be able to make informed decisions and take responsibility for their own health and being part of the national discourse is a key element in meaningfully engaging the youth.
Individual youths as well as youth led and youth focused organizations participation in public health promotion, health education and delivering evidence-based information are vital curbing misinformation and especially in the case of pandemics such as the one we face right now (COVID-19).
In our collective quest to attain the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030, empowerment and involvement of the youths is important as they account for the majority of the population worldwide as shown by the world population data sheet.
Accessibility of market relevant formal education, vocational and technical training as well as financial literacy skills for business and entrepreneurship by the youths’ act as basic foundations for worldwide economic scale ups when these skills are put in practice.
Coming together of purpose driven youths contributing to the national and global development agenda will lead to positive and sustainable change driven by the youth themselves. Social empowerment amongst the youth themselves for instance, would help in the quest to achieve gender equality by 2030.
Young innovators; youth with Information and Communications Technology (ICT) skills who can deliver content rich digital solutions are key to finding lasting solutions to both economic and environmental challenges.
Investments in scientific research and innovation are important in ways youth can catalyze the rapid attainment of sustainable development in economic growth and development.
Technological advancement by the youths such as creation of new industries and communication technologies can help achieve Goal 9 of the SDGs (Innovation, Infrastructure and Industry).
As stated by the United Nations, the meaningful engagement of the youths in formal, political mechanisms contribute to better and more sustainable laws and policies.
Their role in formulation of laws and policies as well as their implementation is important in advancing progress and driving change. Youths should therefore strive to be brought to the inner circles of decision making in the government, private sector and civic societies including in policy making.
At Access to Medicines Platform, we believe that the youth have a place at the decision making table, the youth have a role in improving our health outcomes, social development and economic emancipation.
We are constantly giving opportunities to young people through learning, mentorship, on the job training, skills transfer and participation in the development of our programs and priorities.
As we celebrate the International Youth Day, the youth should be willing and able to through their actions, meaningfully engage in the social, political and economic development for greater impact for the present and future generations.
Let’s not wait for tomorrow, as the tomorrow we were waiting for yesterday is today!
Written by: Sophie Nyongesa, Communications Intern at Access to Medicines Platform