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The youth and culture Printable Version PRINTABLE VERSION
by Femi Johnson, Nigeria Mar 20, 2003
Culture , Child & Youth Rights   Opinions


Furthermore, the exclusion of youths from the process of policy formulation and execution, particularly as it relates to them, greatly undermine the workability of such policies no matter how well-meaning. Without a shared vision and commitment towards individual and collective social realization, developmental efforts will be drowned in the quicksand sands of time. There must be social arrangements that will instruct and initiate the young into patterned beliefs and behaviours that will not be antithetical to development paradigms. Indeed, the role of families, schools and youth organisations in these efforts cannot be over-emphasised. This too, will go a long way in the repression of youth delinquencies. Evolution of dynamic trans-generational development culture is therefore essential bedrock of a prosperous legacy.
If one supports the argument that good leadership is paramount to sustainable growth of any society, it then becomes rational that the environment from which leaders emerge, acknowledging the indefatigtible law of natural succession, should be congenial to intellectual development and seek to deliberately shape and develop effective skills and attitudes relevant to modern living.

The concept of culture has come to the forefront of social science and social policy and the need to address issues of human diversity in psychological processes as it affects performance. Indeed, globalisation has led to increased awareness of differences and similarities both within and across nations and a search for new models and cultural definitions. This becomes pertinent in the face of ~ increased ~ urbanization and emergence of mega cities. As stated by UNESCO, "...culture... [is] ... the whole complex of distinctive spiritual, material, intellectual and emotional features that characterize a society or social group. It includes not only arts and letters but also the modes of life, the fundamental rights of human beings, value systems, traditions and beliefs..."

To be a strong participant in contemporary economics therefore, African countries must not only take cognizance of peculiar cultural elements but also effectively adapt these to the mainstream pattern of social development and functions while supporting dynamic mentoring and bridging of youth development initiatives. Ethics of survival and preservation should be taught along the lines of socio-economic objectives. This becomes important if we agree that the process of learning is an essential component of culture which has both political and social consequences. We should develop a synthesis of process and methods that will put human welfare and growth, social responsibility and justice beyond mere economics ahead crass materialism. The imperative for honesty, integrity and probity should be espoused as a bidding factor within our moral structure unit, co-operation and harmonious co-existence.

Above all, the need for spiritual upliftment should not be undermined - for there can only be clear vision where there is light. Mikhail Gorbachev sums it thus, "... as for the so-called new values imposed by the current way of life and instilled in millions of people... many of these are in fact the antithesis of genuine values... they engender indifference to the sufferings of others and to the fate of future generation, even that of our own children...". The destiny of the Blackman is boldly itched on his open palm.

'Femi Johnson

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