Physical delegates, virtual delegates, and panellists of the 5th YouLead Summit, held in Arusha, Tanzania under the theme, “The future of Africa: creating jobs, feeding and housing the world’s youngest continent”, asserted that youths can lead too after the self-reflective question was addressed if youth can lead. The question provoked the rationale behind the minority of youth’s representation in political, social, and corporate leadership.
Youth carry a new wave of doing things in society, and therefore, youth are edgily needed to redirect corporate, political social leadership into modern trends, and save corporates from decaying, and ancient procedures of doing things in society. The emerging set-up in a society favours juveniles’ skills such as instinctive swift digital savviness that spur effectiveness and efficiency of political, social, and corporate governance. Youth will therefore ember the traditional corporate, political, and social norms within modern trends. Youth inclusivity in corporate and political governance is a plight for the majority of entities in Namibia.
Entities should normalise including youths in major decisions making platforms to reward entities with a handful of 21st-century skills, that are embedded within juveniles. If the majority of youth are included in advisory and decision-making, then entities will never miss the modernised approach that is embedded within youthful leaders’ capabilities.
For example, initiatives society needs more of include, the ‘Bring a buddy to parly’. This initiative draws youth closer to leadership. Youth need to be included in leadership from a young age so that they learn and experience the leadership science timely. However, in most cases, youths start late to be keen on leadership.
In most cases, this can be “too late” to nurture and execute leadership within youngsters, who are the “future leaders of tomorrow”. Initiatives such as ‘Bring a buddy to parly’ ready youth for governance leadership and spark the interest of leadership in youths at elementary stages. If you carefully observe, the majority of youths spearheading corporate, social, and political are those that have already initiated leadership from elementary ages.
Youth are associated with youthfulness. In other words, they are familiarized with playfulness and yet regarded to find their purposes in life. This is the reason why the majority of youth are familiarised with “having fun” and indulging in entertainment, and less associated with complex initiatives such as corporate leadership and societal governance deeds. The majority of youth in most situations recourse doing complex societal initiatives such leadership on a later stage, for instance when they are older, or no longer youth. This notion is viewed by society as normal, and it is perceived as how life is supposed to be.
Should youth wait to be more mature to spearhead corporate and government entities? I question the minority representation of youth in leadership. In my point of view, the minority of youth’s representation in leadership is caused by the fact that youths are apathetic towards leadership roles, and their interest in societal leadership develops later. The majority of youth only recourse “having fun” as youthly initiatives and leadership as a “grown-ish” initiative, that the majority of youth only pursue later in life.
Somehow, society perceives youths doing the most in leadership and keen on complex initiatives as extraordinary youth. It is even viewed as peculiar when youth are interested in complex initiatives. In my point of view, it is not an extraordinary occurrence when youths are doing the perceived initiatives of elderly individuals, because I believe that they can be leaders regardless of age.
Youth need to be included in leadership. Inclusivity of youth modernises entities. Youth add digital technology savviness to corporate, political, and social leadership, under effectiveness and efficiency. More initiatives, of ‘Bring a buddy to parly’ kind of initiatives need to be implemented to disengage youths from their perceived initiatives of interest such as informality and entertainment. Inclusivity of youth’s representation in corporate, social, and political leadership is needed to redirect and modernise ancient corporate, political and social governance.
* David Junias is a coordinator for Elyambala Africa. He writes in his capacity. He was a delegate for the 5th YouLead Summit 2021. Email: email@example.com