Dear Youth: Embrace Ubuntu, Embrace Technology!

Dear Youth,

No generation has ever borne the responsibility that our youth in Africa bare today, and never before have the values of Ubuntu, Innovation and Collaboration, been so necessary for planning a prosperous tomorrow.

With Africa’s population set to double by 2050, at which stage 80 people will be born every minute on this continent, Africa will soon account for more than half of the world’s newborns. Add to this the pace of technological advancement, and one realises that we are not clearly able to envision what the future will truly look like. The world is changing at such an exponential pace that the careers you, our youth of today, might do as adults, currently may not exist. Let’s not forgot, E-commerce, a global industry worth trillions of dollars today, didn’t exist 20 years ago, but therein lies a world of opportunity.

Within you, lies a vast reservoir of latent goodwill steeped in a rich tapestry of untapped creative talent. Africa’s people, wildlife, and landscapes are her greatest assets and your ability to embrace technology while creating investment opportunities through these assets will impact both your future and your success.

Sustainable investment is the cornerstone of Africa’s economic development. Deployment through ethical leadership, the principle of Ubuntu, and your investment into scalable economies can provide long-term, positive impact to both communities and Africa’s wildlife.

These are ecosystems that humanity as a whole will become more dependent on, and the survival of it lies squarely in your hands.

Service-based industries like alternative energy and tourism are transformational and have the power to affect real economic change and upliftment across the continent. The creation of stable employment opportunities in rural areas is increasingly recognised as one of the best manners in which to eradicate poverty, a key problem facing our youth of both today and tomorrow. Employment is the key link between economic growth and poverty reduction in Africa, whereby productive and remunerative employment can help ensure that rural communities share in the benefits of economic growth.

At the heart of investment and employment, lies education. The magnitude of impact that employment through education in rural Africa affords is multiplied, but education itself is changing. Through this evolution, education remains a critical skill that you, our youth, will need to embrace and develop in this rapidly changing world. Education is a powerful scalpel that you can wield to shape the prosperous Africa of the future.

In today’s economic landscape, one cannot rely on basic education to equip one’s self alone, because, in its truest form, education is a journey of self-actualisation. I urge you to go further, push yourself to develop many self-taught, yet important life skills. If we are to reach Africa’s full potential you need to, more than anything, embark on an alternative journey, without losing the essence of what makes us so unique.

So embrace opportunities that come your way and seek out others, whatever they may be. In a future that we are not able to clearly see, we’ll need the inspired and ambitious youth to illuminate the way.

Written by David Ryan, Founder and CEO of Rhino Africa and Good Work Foundation Trustee