No man is an Island or isolate. Every human being is in a network of relationships that are various and diverse in nature. Within every network or relationship there is exchange that happens resulting in a net positive change or net negative change. These networks contribute to a super network, that is the communities and societies that they come from. Networks and Associations can thus be nodes or entry points for effecting change in a society, nation, region or globe. The trick lies in having the right skills to unlock value in these networks.
As a young leader I am very much enthused by this idea of being able to unlock value in relationships, associations and networks. I have seen it work and have also benefited from this practice hence being one of the proponents of a deliberate policy of creating network synergies in Africa with the deliberate idea of effecting change in our beloved continent. I believe such a deliberate policy will result in the transformation of Africa and also enable the continent to tap into her children and get the best out of them.
So what is it exactly that I propose or suggest?
Policy makers and influential people should craft a clear policy of building the capacities of the young people of this continent who constitute about 67% of the continent’s total population. This will be done with the sole aim of building teams of young people who are capacitated and able to respond to the challenges the continent and the globe is facing. Topical areas to look at might be:
· Leadership and Governance in Africa
· Poverty alleviation
· HIV/AIDS and Sexual Reproductive Health Rights
· Women Emancipation and Empowerment
· Education and Health Delivery
· Environmental sustainability
· Global governance
· Pan Africanism
· Technology development and Research and Development
These and some other areas that are topical in Africa will have a dedicated team of young people working at them to see the betterment of the continent. Cross pollination of ideas will take place among the young people resulting in idea generation that is informed and evidence based. Young people will have the opportunity to meaningful participation in the response to problems bedeviling their nations and communities while also shaping and crafting policies that result in sustainable development.
The young people will and can derive value from such networking by pooling their minds to work together towards targets and sharing ideas and opportunities that arise in their committed field. The young people will also be able to complement one another in areas of weakness while strengthening members of their networks who lack in certain areas. An existing support network is established where the young people can fall back to in times of challenges. Best practices and solutions to challenges can be shared to inform youth response and enhance those responses. The duplication of effort which wastes resources and energy will be eliminated as young people will have well integrated and coordinated networks to check on this.
The abuse and misuse of power and resources by young people might also become a thing of the past as the networks will also serve as watchdogs effecting checks and balances to the young leaders
As such I strongly believe that governments and all other stakeholders put in place mechanisms and systems in place to enable existence of such networks. If such networks exist there is also need to really strengthen them and empower them to act in such functions not just as token institutions, but substantial institutions development work. Capacity building should be made available to all young leaders so that the future of Africa and her people is guaranteed.
By Glen Dhliwayo
Glen Dhliwayo is a young leader from Zimbabwe, who is a writer and inspirational speaker. You can contact him for life coaching and personal development sessions with young people. He is a Speaker and facilitator at leadership trainings and has served in leadership at various levels and sectors up to national level. He has trained in Youth Leadership and has certificates in leadership development and counselling, he is also a University undergraduate student, studying for a B.Tech Hons in Engineering.