LAWRENCE NWIMO writes that eradication of hunger and poverty were the major points of discussion during the just concluded international youth Day Celebration organized under the sustainable development goals project of Anambra state.
The forum was organized to form the blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for members of the teeming society even as it stands to address the challenges facing the country including those related to Inequality, climate, environmental hazard, peace and justice as well as social deprivations.
The international youth Day which held at the Shanahan Hall of the Basilica of the Most Holy Trinity, Onitsha tagged “Amplifying Youth Voices for the Sustainable Development Goals aimed at stifling hunger in the land as well as chart new ways for wealth creation in the country.
In his keynote address at the International Youth Day, High Chief Obiora Okonkwo described sustainable development as the development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of the future generation to meet their own needs.
Chief Okonkwo said that sufficient skill is required in the present day society to drive away poverty adding that most of the poverty alleviation programmes by governments and philanthropists lack the required capacity to wipe poverty and hunger out of the land.
He decried governments’ continued attempt to eradicate poverty through buying and distribution of Motorcycles and tricycles pointing out that driving is not a skill but a measure that does not take one without a lasting skill far.
“We cannot eradicate poverty by buying and distributing tricycles, which is the commonest empowerment projects that our governments and philanthropists do. For, tricycle is not a skill but a measure that does not take one without a lasting skill far.
“The only way to zero poverty which is the main goal of the SDG is that there must be sufficient Skills. When I mean skill, it doesn’t have to be only lower part of skill. I believe anything one can do by himself that is knowledge based is skill and it is the only skill can lift our society out of poverty.
“Also, youths must think critically beyond their immediate environments; become change makers because they dominate the population of the country.
“They must challenge the limits and explore new ideas and proffer new solutions, become communicators that will communicate the change that they want to see in the polity through positive social actions and engagements.
“The late Prof. Chinua Achebe, wrote “Things Fall Apart” in his 20s when he had no cell phone or internet or laptop and he did that but today, you have much more than he had.”
Okonkwo, who is a political economist and a chieftain of Peoples Democratic Party as well as the Founder of Pro-Value Humanity Foundation (PVHF) noted that there is need to adopt a new school curriculum that emphasizes technical education rather than the theory based that merely produces job seekers rather than job creators.
“With technical education, we would be able to produce school leavers and graduates with enough technical know-how and skills to generate employment for themselves and others. That’s the way to go.” He concluded.