Enoch Weguri writes:

The immense importance of the young people anywhere is a fact no one can dispute. Young people are the future as well as the most active of world population and the dominant age group in Ghana. Ghana has adopted the African Union’s definition of young people which regards persons from the age of 15 to 35 as young people. The young people who are the future should be put at the center of national issues especially policy and decision making. This is because these decisions will live to rule them and if they’re disruptive policies, the future isn’t going to be anything any of us will like to live in. The future is often imagined and tagged with better things since most people think things become better with time. One thing we mostly forget is that we create our own future and this is determined by the decisions and actions we take today. I believe the problem of Ghana is far from laws, policies and activism. Our problem lies in doing and implementation. Most of the talking and law making has already been done.

The issue of sustainable development has been the talk in the international front. The UN SDGs which succeeded the MDGs have put sustainability at their center. Young people are the future and so is the environment. Once the environment is destroyed and uninhabitable, we all perish together with the future we hope for. We must always remember if the last tree dies, the last man dies no matter how big his dreams are. This suggests that the young people must pay a huge chunk of their attention to what happens to the environment. Most often we as young people worry about unemployment. But let’s face it head on, even if we have jobs we can’t survive if the environment is destroyed. The responsibility is seen as that of the government. But come to think of it, who stands to suffer more from pollution and other environmental degradation activities?

Ghana has so many laws protecting the environment but as usual, what keeps us away from a clean and environmentally healthy country is implementation. What has happened to laws banning open defecation? Who is implementing such laws? Sometimes, we tend to expect the authorities to do their part but the fact is we all have a part to play. Who openly defecates? Who drops the polythene bags anywhere and anyhow? But I believe, more people will obey such laws if they are involved in the making of such decisions and laws and at the same time given the needed facilities to obey the law. Sometimes we can’t really blame some folks. They don’t know the law neither do they have other options in the form of alternatives like public toilets or waste bins. This is where entrepreneurship comes in. It is not always the government which must come into play though the government can create the environment for entrepreneurs to succeed.

One main ingredient to development that Ghanaians and especially young people lack is self-discipline. Imagine if everyone had the self-discipline to stop any form activity which destructs the environment. We all admire the Western and European countries which look nice and clean on TVs which we watch from our homes and we hope to one day live there. The truth is without self-discipline that can never be achieved. We sometimes have problems with law enforcers when we visit such countries because we fail to realize that they are keen on implementation over there.

Coming back to think of unemployment, young people and the problems of the environment, we must all be involved. Like magic, what we must do to save the environment and ourselves also gives us and opportunity to make money and create employment opportunities, killing two birds with just a stone. I have been exposed to a whole lot of ways trying to solve environmental problems can generate money and create employment. The only trick is to change our priorities and mindset towards the environment. If you see the environment as your source of income, you may as well be able to get some income generating business ideas.

The international young people day was recently celebrated and once again the young people are called to arise for Ghana because our country demands our devotion. We must all be involved! God bless us, God bless Ghana!