Generational consensus is a call for inclusion in governance by the youth of the day.
It’s undeniably Pan-African, its progenitors are African youths with grievances that need an African panacea. It’s not centred on an individual, it transcends politics and it is the talk of the day.
By Wilton Nyasha Machimbira
It’s a youth-driven form of renaissance, renewal and rejuvenation.
However, the impetus for generational consensus is both endogenous and exogenous as is evidenced by echoes from the United Nations (UN) and the African Union (AU) with regards to main-streaming of youth issues in the developmental agenda.
Through articulation of the generational consensus phenomenon, the youths are calling for a structural transformation, a redress of social, political and economic ills.
Generational consensus is not exclusionary, but all-encompassing, it’s an idea that takes pride in leaving no-one behind in as far the developmental agenda is concerned and the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals testify to this fact.
“As key drivers of change in the post-2015 era, the world’s 1,2 billion people must be bolstered by robust national policies and innovative solutions to the challenges they face,’’ thundered former UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon at the commemoration of the 20th anniversary of the adoption of the UN World Programme of Action for Youth.
With the new threats that are emerging threatening both human and State security, it is imperative to take on board young people in planning, design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of policies and actions that affect their lives. Issues to do with access to education, unemployment, HIV pandemic and gender inequality.
Other countries have witnessed violent extremism, organised crime and inter-ethnic clashes as a culmination of politics of exclusion, hence, the clarion call for general consensus. In other countries the youths are opting to join jihadists due to ever-escalating levels of unemployment.
Youth unemployment is a ticking time-bomb which now appears to be perilously close to exploding. For long the youths have been hewers of wood and drawers of wood, hence, the generational consensus.
AU Agenda 2063 encapsulates that the empowerment of women and young people as drivers of continental development is a critical precondition for Africa’s economic and political transformation.
Young people are a vital cog in political and economic transformation, hence, the generational consensus.
Young people need to be equipped with skills and resources necessary for success, to engineer a seismic shift of the mindset from servitude to masters of their own destiny and that can only be achieved if young people manage to call the shots with regards to ownership of the means of production, something that can only be realised when there is a responsive government.
The youths are making a clarion call for recognition and inclusion with regards to issues of national development, to be treated as equal partners and not as dormant nor sleeping partners.
The youth are clamouring for an egalitarian society where there are no animals which are more equal than other animals with regards to governance issues, where the youths are not reduced to second class citizens.
The is a lot of untapped talent in the youths owing to societal, political, economic, cultural and bureaucratic impediments.
Dear reader, Africa’s greatest assets are its young people, but the paradox is that it is these same young people who epitomises the wretched ones of the earth due to barriers of ageism, nepotism, ethnocentrism and elitism.
We now see a despicable scenario of a black bourgeois living a profligate lifestyle while the youths are forced to be content with the “Lazarus predicament”.
Such cows of Bashan as the biblical Amos puts it “lie on beds of ivory, stretch out on couches, eat lamps from the flock and calves from the midst of the stall’’.
General consensus is a phenomenon that is anti the mushrooming of comprador bourgeoisie that flaunts and parade ill-gotten opulence, luxuriating in expensive materialism, living ostentatious lives, satiating their flesh with wine and rich food while the youths with an array of talents and skills remain stagnant in every area of life.
As Fannon characterises this class, “They collude with foreign capitalist interests to further their own narrow class interests”. Fannon called it the “hopeless dregs of humanity”.
The youth of the day have been pushed to the peripheries with regards to governance issues. The tragedy facing the youth of the day is that instead of being embraced as partners or indispensable actors even in the corporate word, they are viewed as threats.
Even across the political divide youths are viewed with a jaundiced eye. Such is a sad scenario unfolding in a different organisations, hence, the generational consensus.
The youths have been subjected to negative stereotypes and this has resulted in alienation of young people even in political life.
Generational consensus seeks to demystify the myth that young people are disenchanted with politics than their predecessor generation.
Generational consensus takes cognisance of the fact that youth apathy with regards to governance issues result in loss of power to fight from within to improve the anomalies.
There are a number of policy areas that have been neglected or ignored because there are few youths within the governance structure to advance their cause, an egregious example being the unavailability of grants for students at tertiary institutions.
Generational consensus adjures the youth of the day to play an active role, to participate and lead rather than passively accept or rubber-stamp what others deem to be in their best interest.
Believe me you, general consensus should not be mistakenly viewed as a form of entitlement by the youth of the day, but a call for all stakeholder engagement in issues of the day, be it economic, social and political.
The youth are raising a red flag over the vices of prebendalism and neopatrimonialism. The youth are loudly repudiating a noxious phenomenon of gerontocracy. Against this background the youth are rallying behind new blood to take up the cudgels and be on the driving seat.
At this juncture MDC Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa is an embodiment of generational consensus. He represents the wishes and aspirations of the people inclusive of the young.