Education both formal and informal is the bedrock of all societies and those that have more of it advance in same proportion. In that sense the African youth have no option in the land of Ideas (Germany) than to learn a trade with dully registered certification since expertise is very much acknowledged here or upgrade through higher education. As Mahtab Narsimanhan put it “a good education is the greatest gift you can give yourself or anyone else” This holds true because of the vast mysteries that are unravel in the process of acquiring knowledge with the most basic being the fact that our perceptions change and we get refined as well. What we do is what we know and have learned, either through instructions or through observation and assimilation.
While most feel that education is a necessity and use it as a tool for reaching a specific target or personal mark, after which there is no further need to seek greater education. Nonetheless, the importance of education in society is indispensable and for that reason society and knowledge cannot be ever separated into two distinct entities. The merits African youth can derive from Education are enormous as it changes lives and society in general. Self-Empowerment is strongly linked with education as it makes you strong enough to look after yourself in most given situations and also able to question authority for its negligence or discrepancies. With that, you can exercise your rights as a person and seek improvement in the structural functioning of governance and economy. It is only when one is aware of the policies of its government will he be able to support or protest for a change because people can bring about development only when they know where improvement is necessary for the greater good of society. Education helps you understand yourself and others better even as you realize your potential and qualities as a person.
Financial Stability and Dignity of Life is another concrete fruit of both formal and informal education in the sense that you do not only gain sufficient academic qualification or recognized training through learning of a trade but you are able to get suitable employment at a later stage. A decent employment would be rewarded with appreciable income through which you can look after your personal expenses. With enough financial independence you are able to extend hand to others at the same time having the financial security to meet emergencies and also take up investment opportunities. In that sense, you become the fisherman who has the skills to earn a living as the proverb goes “If you give a man a fish, he will go hungry again but when you teach him to fish, he will fend for himself for a lifetime; this literally backs the need for skill development of the youth of Africa here in Germany and Africa. Most importantly, the German system is very practical and gives you the hands on experience needed to sharpen skills which invariably affect productivity positively. This is perfectly seen in the output of products and services in the German Economy. From many years of experience and education the youth will be able to take to entrepreneurial Ventures that will lead to self-fulfillment and the rippling effects will be seen at home(Africa) in the form of capital outflows for start-Ups and well-tailored professional services that the Continent is in constant need of.
More important is the axiom that “An Idle Mind is the Devil’s Workshop” How is this true? Psychologists posit that an average person has about fifty thousand thoughts in a day and each one of them leads to an action and we leave by ACTIONS. For this reason, proper harnessing of the thought processes of the youth is very vital for researches, active dialogues on development and continuous effort for knowledge and skills through higher education, skills development from learning of a trade and proper mentorship. This calls for selfless mentorship from accomplished individuals who are keen on passing the baton to the African youth to be independent and assets to steer the continent to the next level.
As the saying goes “if you think education is expensive, try ignorance” often the zeal for education is among the youth but funding is a major issue but interestingly the following Foundations and funding opportunities are available and African youth can take the opportunity in bridging the educational and literacy gab by applying to them for Scholarships.
Among them are the DAAD www. daad.de (Scholarships for Masters ,Professional Training and PHD), Vodafone Stiftung ,www.vodafone-stiftung.de (mentorship and scholarship for bachelor’s degree and master’s degree for youth with migrant background), Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (www.fes.de support for degree programs), Schotstek (www.schotstek.com Mentorship and scholarship for youth with migrant background), Hamburg Merit scholarship (Scholarship for master degree students), Claussen-Simon stiftung (www.claussen-simon-stiftung.de scholarship for high school, degree, masters and PHD opportunities), Konrad-Adenauer Foundation (www. kas.de scholarships for degree, Masters, Artist, Musicians and Writers) What Africa needs most is the Education of its youth, hence Africa Youth must Arise and sharpen their skills and above all, it will be great for all African youth to actively get involved in the AFRICA YOUTH EDUCATION (AYE) program as it is an elevator for networking, dialogue and promoting of the Values of Africa. To this end, Best Wishes to all African Youth in their endeavors, many thanks to Mr Desmond John Beddy and other Organizers who have tirelessly worked by upholding community empowerment as a major priority and as such initiated a worthwhile program like the African Youth Education Program (AYE). “From Mathematical reasoning, if time is equal to life, they have given part of their time to society, hence a fraction of their life is equal to the AYE program” and May all together uplift the AYE program and the image of Africa.
Extract from the AYEA Magazine
By: Francis Amemador
Master of Law and Business Candidate
Bucerius Law School Hamburg-Germany.