Cameroon: Staying Alert to Changes


Globalisation, which was initially perceived as a way to reduce the gap between people and nations, has instead resulted in a world of greater individualism. People may communicate faster and easily across long distances thanks to the Information and Communication Technologies, ICTs, but at the same time, socio-economic, cultural, and political differences continue to deepen.

This has given room for a growing number of civil conflicts, divisions among ethnic groups, adverse generational gaps and other individualistic attitudes that almost always end up in civil strife and in some cases, war. Youth, who are at the crossroads facing such a turbulent world order, have the challenge to remain positive by sizing up their chances and making sure they take advantage of every opportunity to improve their living conditions.

That would equally require identifying existing opportunities within their communities, countries and beyond in order to ensure that they survive, no matter the odds. To achieve such goals, it would be imperative for youth to begin by knowing their inherent strengths and weaknesses, be able to understand their environment and work hard to upgrade their personal capacities so as to keep pace with modern exigencies.

Given the social and legal responsibilities of the State vis-à-vis its citizens, government also has the duty to provide enabling conditions for its people to cope with modern trends. One of such areas of concern is the economy, once educational, health care and other social facilities have already been provided by the State or private partners, depending on the circumstances.

All changes therefore call for adjustments both at the personal and national levels. Interestingly, the Head of State opened his address to the youth on the occasion of the 53rd Youth Day by recalling that; "Last year, on the same occasion, I drew your attention to the changes that were taking place in the world, which pointed to declining solidarity between nations and a recrudescence of national egoism. Unfortunately, recent trends in relations between States confirm this assertion.

My intention was to make it quite clear to you that we had to prepare for such eventuality by first counting on ourselves and then being less dependent on the outside world. That is why I made the emergence of our country a "national cause". Maintaining emergence as a national cause also means passing through the fair share of hurdles like educational empowerment of the youth and overcoming the trauma of conflicts stirring Cameroon and its youth in the face.

Since youth are being directly affected, they may not need to be reminded of the urgency in selecting what is good for them, especially when it comes to making choices about their future. The options may be confusing to them, but the fact remains that a good thing will always be good and bad seen as such even if interfering noises try to blur their vision. In the current case of Cameroon, the puzzles may include youth being caught in the wave of internally displaced persons, refugees, victims of political bigotry from several directions, illegal immigrants killed in the high seas or kept in torture chambers across Western and Asian countries.

While the State also bears its own burden in the midst of numerous difficulties, youth must never give up hope, irrespective of hurdles because a society without obstacles is one living in total deception. The problems of an epoch can only call for solutions from those facing such problems, no matter how hard the issues at stake may appear to be. People may choose to see the cup as half full or half empty, depending on the angle from which they view the country, yet youth who are being aptly defined as the future of the country must be able to insist on having the right opportunities to let their talents burgeon.

For more than half a century now, Cameroon has set aside a day for them to reflect over their wellbeing and examine the road so far covered in order to leap forward. Even if dominant factors like ICTs today do not impair youth development, it is far better to seize the opening that the information age offers rather than focus on the disadvantages. The country still offers lots of opportunities for youth who are capable of discovering themselves first before looking to outside world for growth opportunities.

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