ROBERT KATEERA: Youth Must Wake Up!

Robert Kateera having a light moment in the company of Canadian Premier Justin Trudeau. Courtesy Photo/File
By :
Robert Kateera

“Each generation must discover its mission, fulfill it or betray it, in relative opacity.” said Franz Fanon in his classic “Wretched of the earth “

The statement can’t be better suited of any other time other than this .

In response to the novel and deadly coronavirus, many governments deployed draconian tactics never used in modern times: severe and broad restrictions on daily activity that helped send the world into its deepest peacetime slump since the Great Depression. About 400million jobs have been lost globally and global output is projected to fall by 5% this year atleast by the International Monetary Fund. The choice for governments is choosing the devil (lock downs and other restrictions) and the deep blue sea of business as usual and risk a fatality rate of unmitigated proportions.

While at this cusp of economic catastrophe it is time for the youth to make a choice . To choose to discover their mission, fulfill it or betray it in relative opacity. The eyes of history are bestowed upon us and the choices we make today will have a lot not to do with now but with the forever.

In the words of civil rights Movement icon Dr. Martin Luther King Jnr “We are confronted with the fierce urgency of now. In this unfolding conundrum of life and history, there “is” such a thing as being too late. This is no time for apathy or complacency.”

We should imagine our future and not let folks arching the piercing rays of there sunset years reimagine the future for us especially by crafting a reality of the Post – Covid19 world. We need to actively engage in the process of policy making especially in so far as the direction ( politically , economic and social order ) is concerned .
For example we should be on the table to negotiate which place our continent takes in the international value chain. For it is here that wealthy, middle income and poor nations differ. The Democratic Republic Congo mines coltan which is used to make the iPhone. It takes about 2-4% of the value of the phone. China which assembles it takes about 16-20% and the United States of America takes about 80%. These are the debates that we (youth) should indulge in a reimagine our future for if we are active and not passive participants in the global economy shall we then take the mantle as we do wish.

This period of immense cataclysmic nature is a time for us to take a hiatus and reflect about the future we so much crave. For even those occupying the positions we admire or work towards didn’t get anything on a silver plate .

One of the most intriguing golden threads interwoven in political debates, and casual talk is that “ the old are blocking us “ that is the concept I attempt to dismantle tonight and hope have done successfully.

Kateera – from the President Trudeau Youth Council & Member of the Obama Youth Council

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