Yemen Needs to Harness Energy and Innovation From Its Younger Cohorts
MAJ. GEN. MOHAMMED Zayed IBRAHIM, YEMENI DEFENSE ATTACHE TO THE U.S.
The youth sector truly is one of the most significant groups in contributing to the construction and growth of society. It is a crucial, indispensable group, particularly given that youth possess many qualities — mainly strength, vitality, energy and resilience — at this particular stage of life.
Young people have a large and vital role to play in building society. Their role is not limited to a specific area; it encompasses all social, political, and economic spheres as well as various sectors of growth.
Young people are the most ambitious in society, and the process of change and progress knows no bounds for them. They are the foundation of change, or rather the force capable of creating it, so their energies must be actively marshaled and harnessed.
In fact, they must be accorded priority in all change-seeking institutions and social groups, as they are the most willing to accept, absorb and interact with the new and, indeed, contribute to everything new.
Additionally, young people are best able to adapt without difficulties, which makes their role essential in bringing about the change desired in their societies. Youth have intellectual curiosity and tremendous energy, an important factor in bringing about progress and vitality in confronting political and social change.
In particular, the spirit of entrepreneurship among youths and honorable competition in creativity and innovation should be encouraged to create leaders who can be a primary, crucial source for understanding the requirements of various phases of development and progress in their countries.
If we go on to talk about the role of young people in government policymaking, we find they have a major impact on the state’s public policy in development, construction, and governance.
Governments prepare statistics on youth to develop appropriate plans not only to include them in public services and employment, but also to utilize their capabilities and academic achievements within government and private institutions that are adopting modern programs and work processes requiring academic qualifications, as mandated by the market.
Government and private productive institutions are racing to bring in young people to inject new blood into their institutions, in order to sustain or enhance productivity. Therefore, the huge numbers of young people in Middle Eastern countries should present an opportunity, not a problem — an opportunity for development, productivity and creativity, not an unemployment problem as many governments may believe.
Young people must also be fully aware of their rights and duties, so that they know what they are owed and what they owe others, and how they can officially and legally serve themselves and their homeland.
Thanks to many recent factors, today’s youth may be more fortunate than yesterday’s. These factors include evolving means of production and technological and academic progress that can help them to create real change. On the political side, young people can express their views today in various ways, thanks to the information revolution and the digital age. However, they must exercise caution with regard to accepting whatever is said or disseminated. Knowledge, as ever, is a double-edged sword.
Elections truly are an important political factor, the foundation of every democratic system. Young people must be supported by urging them to make the best use of democratic entitlements to play a positive and influential role in determining the country’s future and guiding its adoption of effective policies.
The future will be bright for countries that succeed in harnessing the energies of their youth, steering them in the right direction and motivating them to innovate in different fields, igniting their energies to implement practical and scientific programs for growth and prosperity rather than plunging them into the furnace of avoidable internal or regional fighting.