By Dr. Kellen Kiambati
In our day to day engagement with young people, we have realized that most of them are not familiar with continental development frameworks. As such, they miss out on opportunities available through such frameworks. We take time to discuss Agenda 2063 and opportunities it presents to the youth. Agenda 2063 is Africa’s endogenous plan for structural transformation and a shared strategic framework for inclusive growth and sustainable development which has three dimensions of Vision for 2063, the transformation framework and making it happen. This framework is clear on the dream of where we want to see Africa in 2063, the steps that Africa should take in form of aims, strategies and objectives and how implementation is to be done. For this to happen, African Countries (and Kenya is no exception) will require experts in a number of areas.
Mobilization of both financial and non-financial resources to support execution of strategies
There will be acute need for domestic resource mobilization and mitigation of illicit financial flows. Young people should start positioning themselves in this area and building their capacities to undertake activities around this space.
Technological support in all sectors is an area full of opportunities. Young people should start carrying out research to identify areas of need, besides developing innovative high tech solutions. The nature of technological innovations is that they take long to develop and therefore there is need to start early.
Monitoring and impact evaluation skills
Young people should equip themselves with advanced research skills that will enable them to design studies with the ability to provide evidence showing if interventions worked or not. It is no longer tenable to allocate resources for the sake of allocating, tax payers have become more enlightened and wastage is intolerable.
Legal experts will be required to structure projects for public and private partnerships. The interest of public sector is to deliver service and that of private sector is to make profits. There will be need to structure projects in a manner that will have the two needs balanced. The implementation of Agenda 2063 requires not only developing policies and putting in place the requisite legislation and regulations, but also the capacity to enforce them. Young people should start acquiring legal and project structuring skills that will enable them to tap into this area.
Renewable energy to support the envisioned growth
Sustainable development requires low-carbon energy and climate-resilient development strategies as well as access to climate finance. Young people should acquire skills in this discipline so that they act as advisors and also deal with some long time thorny issues like financing that is skewed towards mitigation as opposed to adaptation, environmental fall-outs and green industrial development.
The opportunities discussed (and even those not discussed) here for example health, education, trade, entrepreneurship and tourism can be found in any African countries. It is also possible to form collaborations with young people from other countries in order to tap into these opportunities. The secret is to cast nets widely. We hope to see young people shine and become real change makers.