Celebrating the Potential and Power of the Youth

15th June 2023

UKZN Extended Learning

– by Ayanda Radebe

Youth Day gives us the opportunity to reflect on the potential of young people in South Africa. As the world is constantly evolving along with the world’s rapidly growing population, this presents both opportunities and challenges. Young people face many obstacles such as poverty, unemployment, and limited access to education and health care. On the other hand, they are the future of our world and have the potential to bring about positive change in their communities and beyond. Having faced the pandemic, which caused a huge negative impact on societal norms, led to a disruption in education and an increase in unemployment. This impact resulted in many people having to learn to adapt to such changes.

Many young people have shown remarkable resilience and creativity in the face of adversity. With the rising driving force in technology which has transformed the world we live in; the youth is at the forefront of this change through the adoption of new technologies and the ongoing digital development. This has been providing an area of empowerment for the youth in the field of entrepreneurship through the use of digital platforms to start their own businesses and access funding and mentorship. Creative thinking at large is motivated by the drive to strive for a better future. Throughout the constant positive work the youth has been involved in (advocating for climate action, promoting social justice, and developing new technologies to address global changes) this shows the realisation of their full potential and passion to drive positive change.

However, for one to realise their full potential in today’s society, investments in quality education, healthcare for all, and inclusive employment opportunities are highly necessary. This Youth Day, therefore, presents an opportunity for the youth to work together in raising awareness by addressing these factors and possible changes that can be made to meet acceptable standards.

Youth Day 2023 with the theme ‘accelerating economic emancipation for a sustainable future’ gives an opportunity to celebrate the resilience and potential of young people and to further create a future for all, which can be done through working together and creating a world that is inclusive, sustainable, and for everyone.