Youth action plan needed

Dear Editor,

If I ever become prime minister of The Bahamas, one of my top priorities will be to ensure the issues and challenges young people face in our country receive focus in government decision making.

Young Bahamians are the future of our country and are the most important resource we have for future development.

As prime minister, this would be very important to me and should be to any prime minister.

To underscore this commitment, I would adopt the Ministry of Youth in my portfolio to ensure that we build a nation where young people could have a better future.

This administration has been silent on youth matters, though. We haven’t heard much about a comprehensive plan or anything young people could benefit from or look forward to.

The education system is still fractured, crime is still out of control and youth unemployment is still alarming.

Moreover, young Bahamians continue to be underestimated, undermined and marginalized.

In many ways, they are treated as second-class citizens in our country and this is a problem.

This is damaging to our country as a whole because youth represent a significant portion of the Bahamian population.

If we think about it, most of the decisions and policies the government implements affect the lives of youth but rarely do youth have an opportunity to have a say in these decisions and policies.

It shouldn’t be this way.

If we look around The Bahamas, we will see thousands of dynamic, intelligent and innovative young people passionate about positive change.

Instead of embracing them, they are hindered and excluded.

This needs to stop.

Young Bahamians have gifts, talents and great ideas to contribute to the country and we must make every effort to empower them to do so.

Young people must be included in every area: economic growth, advancing tourism, education, safety and community building.

Including their unique perspectives and ideas in the decision making process will only benefit our country. Their participation will only lead to a stronger Bahamas.

I want to see a Bahamas that supports young people. Young people want to see it.

We are calling on the government of The Bahamas to introduce a comprehensive youth action plan, a plan that would objectively support youth-centered policies, greater economic and volunteer opportunities, positive engagement initiatives and community building.

More importantly, this proposed plan must be led and shaped by young Bahamians. Young Bahamians are tired of talk with no action. We want real change.

Young people are the ones who will have to lead The Bahamas into the future. They are the leaders and policymakers of tomorrow.

Therefore, the government must ensure they are afforded the opportunities and support needed to reach their full potential.

– Akeem Scott

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