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Connecting the Minds of Young People (Guest Writer)


The growing rate of the youth population across the world has made them become very vital in every sector of the different societies in which they live. In its publication named: “The Power of 1.8 Billion Adolescents, Youth and the Transformation of the Future”, which was the 2014 State of World Population, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) estimated a global population of young people at approximately 1.8 Billion of the total population of 7.3 Billion. This indicates that young people make a huge portion of the world’s population.

Against that backdrop, they play a very pivotal role in the process of making the world a better place. The document asserts that the present population of young people is unprecedented and the means via which we all meet the needs and aspiration of other people will define our common future.

In the Economic, Health, Security, Education sectors and every sector for that matter, they are needed to propel a sustained development. They have the energy and motivation to push for change and make things happen.

Even though young people are important in every sector of the society, they nonetheless face so many challenges. I am young and therefore know that youth specific challenges are not only unique to my country, Sierra Leone.  In that country, of about 6 million people in West Africa, there are issues of youth unemployment, education and others. In 2012 Sierra Leone, in collaboration with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), published a report titled: “Status of Youth”.  The report turned out to be the first of its kinds to describe or explain the most comprehensive situation of youth employment, education, well-being and participation in the development process. Even the United States of America and the People’s Republic of China, which are the big players in the world’s economy (VF News: The China Century and World Economic League Table 2015), still face problems with unemployment and other related social challenges.

MUNPlanet, in its bid to address some of these challenges that confront the youth population of the world, has strived to ensure that young people around the world are not only connected but are also empowered in the fields of entrepreneurship and knowledge about international organizations like the United Nations.

Governments around the world face challenges in ensuring that they cater for the needs of young people. But in as much as governments strive to improve the well-being of young people, both governments and the younger generation must pay attention to connecting the minds of young people. This gives them a united voice to ensure that their concerns are heard and addressed. The issues of sharing ideas locally and internationally but also finding solutions to some of the challenges young people face are central and therefore very important to their overall development.

I have worked with youth related institutions in Sierra Leone and abroad. One of the solution points that I have always proffered to certain problems is the essence of sharing ideas with other young people. By so doing, they share experiences on region specific issues while identifying a stepping stone to solving general problems that resonate across the world.

This does not in anyway indicate that such experiences become a size-fits-all scenario where solutions to the problems of youth in Aisa, for example, are seamlessly transferred to deal with those in Africa. They can be tried and tested to widen the scope of problem solving. This reminds me of a quote from a public lecture by DR. Kaifala Marah at the University where I did my undergraduate course and long before he became the Minster of Finance of Sierra Leone.

He stated that: “If I have a coin and you have a coin and we exchanged our coins I would still have a coin and you will still have a coin. But if I have an idea and you have an idea; and we exchanged our ideas, I would have had two ideas and you would have had two ideas.”

This is the beauty of sharing knowledge. Additionally, this helps to establish cooperation among young people and positively helps to solve their problems. Today, there is a xenophobic situation in South Africa that has claimed the lives of seven people, majority foreigners. Many young people in South Africa want foreigners to leave their country because of the fear that foreigners are taking their jobs. I am of the opinion that if the South African youths had collaborated with other young people from other countries they would have pursued a peaceful means to improving their chances of being employed. Obviously the situation would not have been that fatally brutal.

MUNPlanet has the best approach to connecting the minds of young people around the world. It is an online community which is a one-stop shop for all youth related issues. The community focuses on connecting young people. It publishes job openings, articles on topical security, peace, entrepreneurship, leadership, and media issues. Governments, local and international institutions must model the MUNPlanet strategy that fosters the collaboration of youths. I urge all young people to signup to the MUNPlanet community. There are opportunities for everyone. Sign up here: http://www.munplanet.com

The issue of young people’s collaboration or connecting their minds is very important to a nations’ growth. Young people form a huge portion of the world’s population and they have the energy and zest to move things. With this, they need attention and their plights must be listened to and addressed. We can have a better world if we positively collaborate to solve our problems.

About the Author

Mohamed Sheriff Bah is a MUNPlanet Online Marketing Communication Intern. m.sheriffbah@gmail.com