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Editorial: Engaging youth for development

Young generation is considered backbone of a society. Young people are seen as the future and builders of a nation. Therefore, their upbringing and education matters a lot, especially for underdeveloped country like Afghanistan. Availability of opportunities for youth to grow is of utmost importance in the process of nation building. Our country is blessed with natural and human resources. There is no lack of potential and talented brains given that they were guided properly and put in the right shape and place. This great asset shall not be wasted, particularly at this critical juncture because the country has stepped into the transitional decade.

Unfortunately, the previous and current governments failed to harness potential of the Afghan youth. They are not utilized for development of the country—in the way that was expected. Most of young people are directionless. Some of them are seen as potential militants as Daesh and other militant organizations are actively recruiting jobless people. Daesh, the Middle Eastern terror outfit, is paying over $400 to a fighter per month. Thus, the salary provided by the terrorist group is higher than many government employees. In this age of financial competition, naïve and unemployed youth prefer to work for those who pay much. No matter how harsh it is but this is a reality the government had to accept.

Although, the Ministry of Information and Culture brings youth people under a single roof to take their suggestions but the process is limited to consultations only and not producing positive results.

The ministry on Tuesday held a consultative meeting with the youth representatives to take their viewpoints regarding improvement of urban programs. The ministry pledged to resolve youth’s problems. However, there are some concerns over this process. The process should be more about engaging youth in productive activities rather than listening to their suggestions to fill blank papers. The authorities did much paper work since ouster of the Taliban from power but a very few programs were executed to empower youth. When it comes to empowerment of youth, young men do not know what to do and how to do while young women are victims of the taboos and discrimination. Youth make up over 65 percent of the Afghan population. The growth of the youth population is projected to exceed. Despite this fact, the government is not addressing challenges faced by youth especially of those young people who are about to enter the labor force.

To empower youth in real sense the government shall engage the young population in decision making process and nationwide campaigns such as anti-polio drives and fight against corruption and narcotics. It will also address the issue of skilled leadership.

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