Younger Generation Key to National Prosperity

- Nigel Akuani

 

Port Moresby: Papua New Guinea’s younger generation are the key to prosperity for the country.

 This was made clear during the Chatroom on Wednesday 18th March, at the Tribe-FM studio, that had five Grade-Ten students of St Charles Lwanga Secondary focusing their discussion on the topic ‘Young people key to taking back PNG’.

Various areas of the theme were highlighted from its brief definition, the existent social practice found in society, the economic gains from wise investment and repercussions of poor and lacking youth initiatives, the political implications of where the current government stands in relation to youth wellbeing and national development. 

St Charles Lwanga Grade-10 students pose for a shot after Chatroom.

In his introduction of the discussion Jordan Aitsi, told of how PNG was a rich and blessed country, but questioned the harsh reality being faced by youths nationwide. “Young people make up 60% of the population but all are seemingly neglected from having proper and adequate access to basic needs in life. Education is the most important sector for a country to progress but it is drastically lacking here,” he said. 

Abigail Biti said that there were many social issues affecting the country and all directly affected the efficiency of intellectual development in youths. “Social stratification where people class themselves superior to others and disorganisation where environments for positive youth development are far from conducive are prevalent in PNG,” she said.

Jaira Wama emphasized the importance of a strong stable economy for a country, and said it was only possible when there was a strong human resources sector in place. “We have the population comprised of youths but we do not have the skills and knowledge, consequently outsiders are brought in to run businesses and expatriates to conduct services. We need to start localizing all business sectors by having our own citizens do all these,” she said.

She added, “Entrepreneurship is key to sustaining our economy and all locals must embrace all opportunities to create employment for themselves”.

Bethel Yuka said young people have the power to create and drive change, and called on the nation’s leaders to provide the time and resources to help equip them.

Mr David Rupa, Principal Advisor of National Youth Development Authority, admitted to challenges facing development programs for youths, however, urged for youths not to be deterred from participating and learning. ‘The theme involves rewriting the narrative of how PNG societies function by allowing the involvement of young people. There also has to be a disciplined change in their mindset that constantly pushes them to be proactive and to take responsibility,” he said.

 

Jino Onag, a youth from Hanuabada, stressed the importance of inclusion of uneducated young people in youth initiatives. Natalie Koivi, from the Erima Youth Group said that youth had the potential to contribute significantly in national development.

Clement Deka, a regular listener of Chatroom wanted to from the students what their definition of ‘Taking back PNG’ meant for them. The students responded that it was by disciplining themselves to be more proactive and self-initiative. 

Chatroom’s next session on 25th March, will have young people from St Joseph’s Youth Group discuss the theme ‘Plant a Tree, Plant for the Planet’.

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