Youth, Economics, Opportunities, Growth and Development
Economic advancement can be viewed in one way or another as increasing the capabilities of an individual to lead a dignified life and subsequently be in a position to do and be what he or she chooses. Based on preordained dynamics and through interactions with each other as well as with those outside their age realms, young people are continually developing these capabilities, meaning that development is an intergenerational process that is regularly metamorphosing.
Poverty is a manageable social ill that is unfortunately ballooned by inequalities occasioned by biased/poor planning by governments’ world over. Most importantly, it’s a violation of Human Rights of all those affected. This violation is propagated by key among many other issues lack of foundational and service infrastructure in provision of amenities such as schools, unavailable/inaccessible platforms to access and interact at local, national and global platforms and poor healthcare systems therein limiting spaces for economic flexibility from an informed, supported, harnessed and sustainable facet.
Youth and others can and do engage in conscious action to improve their lives at community level. At this level, poverty and insufficiencies of existing structures limit the resources that they can pull into a particular pool. In effect, human asset and informal institutions are the only reprieve to be leveraged in order to establish control on poverty at community level.
It is imperative that communities have vocational programs because youth need an environment to harness their skills – skills which are not directly related to literacy and numeracy. This is because, the Youth communities need the developmental assets fostered by quality programs, and because poor communities need the other public goods and social capital they can engender.
This chapter first develops an understanding of capability-driven development and the involvement of youth. It then explores the setting of the community for economic development, with a discussion of out of school training programs, community and education relevance as a specific examples of an institution in poor communities with the potential to contribute to economic development. The following sections synthesize each other.
Development and Youth
Economic maturity is a long haul and dynamic progression. Proceeds change over time whilst people earning these proceeds are just as dynamic. In Namutumba – an Eastern Region District in Uganda, Development falls short of its embrace of youth as potent drivers. Youth need shielding in order to successfully identify, harness, sustain and achieve development of their capabilities.
Youth in this District are exposed to a large number of risks in high concentration, meaning they have high risks of many negative outcomes due to the poverty levels, relevance of education outcomes and government prioritization of Youth affairs in the longer term. This has occasioned a situation whereby the Youth are more of dependents as opposed to initiators, because they can seldom earn their own subsistence leading to the aspect of desperation and foregoing important investment in their human capital in exchange for material capital that they can hardly maintain due to insufficiencies of education prowess and technical training.
Institution and Youth
Youth are in an ever shifting ground as people-in-process, powerless but can grow to positions of power. Intervention for and by youth is supported by providing an environment in which youth are free to express themselves in challenging a culture that constrains their expression of identity. This is a prime example of enacting action through challenging everyday practice through involving youth directly in activism.
There exists a wide range of barriers to this effect. One community of Youth could have basic needs that need to be addressed, whilst the other community may have entirely divergent needs – at urgent one at that.
In one of my numerous Youth activities, there were several participants to a training….i noted 3 very vocal ones who managed to coalesce the entire lot to their reasoning. The issues at hand – besides the core one; capacity empowerment – were;
i. How will we use the information you are sharing to get food…
ii. As Youth, we distrust each other…
iii. How did you settle on us? – Despite the fact that they have nothing substantially going on, they still complained about what was on offer.
Regardless of other programming possibilities, the Youth required having these other needs met before they were able to listen, participate, and think about the activities they were doing on a longer term.
Community and Youth
Beside women, Youth are the second most determiners of the community based of what they do on a daily basis…wrong or right, guided or not. Community-based organizations and youth-based organizations play important roles in this process and have the potential to accomplish tasks left undone by National and Local Governments. Young people play an important role in the economy at the community level, through their participation in not for monetary activities such is the case in child led household occasioned by divorce, GBV, HIV/AIDS related mortalities and so on. Because so many children‘s activities develop capabilities, Youth are pivotal game-changers in long-term, community-level development – economical or otherwise, direct or indirect.
Education and Youth
The analysis above raises several important issues to consider when making public decisions about the allocation of funding for youth programs in the future; determining eligibility for funding, and about allocating that funding. Programs should be designed and focused at children living in concentrated poverty.
In Uganda, Universal Primary Education has been instrumental in the numbers that access schools, retention rates and transition to secondary education mainly through the capitation grants. Education funds may seem much but at the end of the day, an analysis to depict the value-add of the grants in relation to good education performance indicators in Namutumba District. There is need to effect proper management of schools as pertains proper budgeting, effective planning, resource mobilization all to the broad goal of achieving good learning outcomes.
Additionally, there is a need for funding priority for Schools to achieve the primary objective of access to education – to empower at diverse levels RATHER than to top the examination outcome rota. Due to the extremely tight competition for government grants and priorities, is practically an essential requirement to win funding.