I read an article on Medium by Kate Cohen on Why Millennials Are Embracing Last-Stage of Capitalism and You Should Too. She wrote about how the millennials want to focus on experiencing life and make up for the time lost over the last few years because apparently, they are nearing their 30s.
What they do now going forward would be a defining moment in the next 30 years of their life.
Brooke Baldwin, a CNN anchor, when she was resigning as an employee at CNN quipped that she didn’t know where she was going next, but she got to go. She said, “Get a little uncomfortable, speak up and keep pushing”.
Can this actually be said of the majority of the African youths living in Africa?
Even though Africa has the youngest population, according to Statistica.com, bad governance has conspired with other factors such as corruption, lack of jobs, etc. to push many youths to move outside the continent to seek better opportunities.
They are moving to other countries where they can get better paying job opportunities, where their creativity will be appreciated, and where there are better social goods. Millions of people die on the sea and on the deserts all in the name of leaving Africa to find a better place to live.
According to a recent survey, 55 per cent of the children in Ghana dream of travelling abroad to seek greener pastures in the future due to the perceived lack of opportunities in Ghana.
In August, The Punch reported that Nigerian doctors were been recruited en masse to work in Saudi Arabia. Why are they leaving? Because their government doesn’t care about them — whether they proceed on an industrial strike or quit their job. This applies to most of the countries in Africa.
GhanaWeb equally reported that a record number of Ghanaian young doctors are moving to the United Kingdom where they are: “much respected and highly remunerated”.
There’s always the talk of brain drain from Africa. Why won’t there be if the leadership doesn’t care about the services workers are rendering to their beloved countries. It’s said that you go where you’re celebrated and not tolerated.
As Jim Rohn once said, “you are not a tree, you need to move”. Also, Jesus rightly stated in the Bible that a prophet has no honour in his home.
The African youths are just fed up and they want to go where their services might be appreciated, perhaps.
Khaby Lame, the famous African based in Italy has seen a meteoric rise as a content creator on Tiktok when he became redundant as a factory worker. Many young people in Africa have jumped on these video websites to make money and enjoy their freedom as well, notwithstanding the lack of employment. They’ve found their way of still making it, no matter how small it may seem.
Cohen wrote, “Working hard is fun and all but if the rewards aren’t there to match it, people are going to look elsewhere”.
Tying it in what Cohen wrote on her blog with what’s happening across Africa. I can say that the youth are frustrated with the political leadership. We have seen protests in some African countries during the past year. The youths are indignant and outraged about the whole governance system.
The youths want an Africa that its leaders won’t travel abroad for medical care but would improve the dilapidated hospitals so that they can also seek medical services there too; the youths want the educational systems to be fixed so that school buildings won’t collapse on school children and school children will not be taken hostage by armed bandits.
The youths want a leadership that can tackle corruption head-on by strengthening and enforcing the laws regardless of who is involved in corrupt acts or whose ox is gored. We shouldn’t live in George Orwell’s allegorical novel Animal Farm that, “All animals are equal, but some are more equal than others”.
The youths need jobs and/or want leadership that will create an enabling environment, for instance, reducing taxes for young entrepreneurs to thrive.
The youth also want a collective effort by ECOWAS to end the rise of insurgency across the Sub-Saharan region.
All in all, these acts of some of our African leaders push the youth to seek greener pastures abroad no matter the price they’ll pay to get to their destination. It’s high time our African leaders on the continent created enabling environment of opportunities to attract the young talents on the continent who are looking for opportunities to leave.