Recent data shows that the world population will decline by two billion by the year 2100, going against previous projections that had been made by the United Nations. This translates to more than 20 countries, first world nations, that will see their populations diminish by half.
As much as some countries will be struggling with fewer people, others will be heavily populated.
For instance, in sub-Saharan Africa, the population size will triple in size to about three billion people. Nigeria population alone is predicted to expand to almost 800 million in 2100.
With this growth, means new opportunities and of course new challenges. Right now, there is competition among youth, that I find difficult to term as healthy.
Under the sun
As much as many would say that there’s nothing new under the sun, I would like to defer. There is something new.
Decades ago, and not too far back, when we remember our youth days, we heard stories of how our parents and grandparents worked on the farm.
In their youth, they had to fetch water, graze cattle, and walk miles barefoot to school.
Just how difficult life was back then, and some youth today never seem to understand. Even today, in some homes, access to education, water and food requires family effort.
Some rivers our grandparents talk about have dried up. Those that exist are filled with toxins; our farmers are also using pesticides that are toxic, and access to education may not be assured.
We are worried about food security, worried about climate change, and lowering carbon emissions.
As the population continues to grow in some countries, there’s need to have states, that understand just how important it is to provide services and maintain this population. But are our priorities realistic? What is success, for instance?
Some would say they did well in school, so they got a good job to buy a nice house, a car, and acquire land.
Statistics show that 70 percent of young people will never own a house, not because they do not want one, but because they cannot afford. As a matter of fact, 90 percent would like to own one.
This is also true of land. Land ownership is so important to Kenyans, but as years go, population increases, so does value of land. Many will not buy and own their own property.
So when we see this sense of competition amongst the youth, it will get to a point where we can no longer perpetuate the lie of capitalistic success. We have to start looking at our future differently and it involves a lot of collaboration and sharing. Which is difficult considering that at a young age (thanks to technology) diversity and individuality is heavily encouraged and instilled.
Wako-Ojiwa, executive director at Siasa Place @NerimaW