Meet the Covid Class of 2020, born after 9/11, a generation bookended by tragedy.
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All of which means that you’re going to have to grow up faster than some generations. This pandemic has shaken up the status quo and laid bare a lot of our country’s deep-seated problems — from massive economic inequality to ongoing racial disparities to a lack of basic health care for people who need it. It’s woken a lot of young people up to the fact that the old ways of doing things just don’t work; that it doesn’t matter how much money you make if everyone around you is hungry and sick; and that our society and our democracy only work when we think not just about ourselves, but about each other.
It’s also pulled the curtain back on another hard truth, something that we all have to eventually accept once our childhood comes to an end. All those adults that you used to think were in charge and knew what they were doing? Turns out that they don’t have all the answers. A lot of them aren’t even asking the right questions. So, if the world’s going to get better, it going to be up to you.
That realization may be kind of intimidating. But I hope it’s also inspiring. With all the challenges this country faces right now, nobody can tell you “no, you’re too young to understand” or “this is how it’s always been done.” Because with so much uncertainty, with everything suddenly up for grabs, this is your generation’s world to shape.
But if you listen to the truth that’s inside yourself, even when it’s hard, even when its inconvenient, people will notice. They’ll gravitate towards you. And you’ll be part of the solution instead of part of the problem.
And finally, build a community. No one does big things by themselves.
But the truth is that you don’t need us to tell you what to do.
Because in so many ways, you’ve already started to lead.
Congratulations, Class of 2020. Keep making us proud.
Young people across Africa are overwhelmingly optimistic about their future and believe the continent is heading for success thanks to new technologies and entrepreneurship, according to the African Youth Survey 2020 released Thursday.
The survey, conducted by the Ichikowitz Family Foundation, said that “a rising Afro-Optimism among the continent’s youth-driven by a strong sense of individual responsibility, a post-colonial mindset, entrepreneurialism, and confidence in a shared African identity.”
“Africa’s youth believe they can solve problems collaboratively, and are hopeful of fighting corruption, achieving peace and improving their personal living conditions.”
Although most of the people interviewed are unhappy with the state of their own country, almost half believe Africa is in a better state than before, and two-thirds say the continent is going through a transformative era.
The survey covered 14 countries and included more than 4,000 interviews with young people aged between 18 and 24.
The findings of the #AfricanYouthSurvey2020 reflect the spirit and aspirations of African youth. They’re self-starters intent on changing their lives; have clear ideas for businesses and are confident about their financial futures. https://ichikowitzfoundation.com/
Eighty-one percent of those surveyed think technology “will change the fortunes of Africa,” and 79 percent say Wi-Fi access should be a fundamental human right.
Strongly believing in technology and business, three-quarters of young people say they want to launch their own business or social enterprise within the next few years, and many have already ideas they are ready to work on if given funding.
The biggest concerns among them remain corruption, the creation of new jobs for the increasing young population (average age in Africa is under 20), peace, and security in the continent.
Ichikowitz Family Foundation chairman, Ivor Ichikowitz said “the results of the African Youth Survey are a loud wake-up call to all the Afro-sceptics.”
“We have found that youth in Africa are imbued with optimism about the future – and want to shape their own destiny. We have found a youth that refuses to shy away from the very real challenges of Africa, that is honest about what needs to be done and what their role has to be to achieve this – and they are overwhelmingly keen to make that difference,” Ichikowitz said.