Over the few years I have lived, I have made several observations in our county and country at large. It is sad that the predilection of the current crop of leaders to turn our democracy into a gerontocracy and it is bewildering.
As a well cultured child I would love to thank the few old men who have steadied the ship of our nation to this state, but it is time to bow out gracefully. I know recycling is great for the environment but recycling old and tired hands is suicidal to our growth as a county and nation.
Secondly, as a young person I have asked myself if it is not because of bad leadership that makes us clamour for youth inclusion, but a quick look at some developed countries will help. In Europe, Sweden leads the pack with a vibrant and young set of leaders, Swedish Education Minister, Gustav Fridolin became a minister at 28 and guess what- he is not a professor.
You don’t need a professor to build libraries, you don’t need a professor to know that our public schools urgently needs a change,a transformation and a breath of fresh air all at once. In Italy, they lead the pack by having the youngest prime minister in Italian history. Matteo Renzi became Italian prime minister at 39.
In North America the stories are not different. The United States elected Barrack Obama a 48-year-old African American as her president in 2009. Canada is not left out either, having the second youngest member of the G7 and a prime minister Justin Trudeau at 43.
The list of countries that have decided to hand over the mantle of public service to the youths continues to grow, but we seem to be recycling tired, retired and exhausted hands. But is the youth ready for leadership?
Thirdly, the readiness of youths in handling the responsibilities that comes with leadership in the public sector have been called to question, mostly by those who posited that the young people of this generation is neither ready nor capable of handling important government positions.
In as much as I would like to disagree on this,I have done a retrospection Before the emergence of Social/New Media, young people where restricted to positions like special adviser on entertainment, tourism and youth affairs.
But since the advent of these new forms of media young people have been relegated to social media propagandists masquerading as Special Advisers on New Media. This generation have effectively turned itself to what I call a #hashtaggeneration.
We campaign for the old and recycled men while secretly hoping that when they win they will be magnanimous enough to“give” us some scrums from the table.
The first and best step is for we young people to participate more in the electoral process, during the 2013 general elections I conducted a nonscientific online poll to get a rough estimate of young people that belong to a political party. I was shocked that very few are registered members of a political party.
In conclusion, as long as we continue to abstain from politics we will remain well wishers and beggars of appointments, but if we participate and contest elective positions we will be a step closer to eradicating this democratic gerontocracy.