Contributer Of The Writer’s Podium At Siasa Place
Stemming from the general analysis of the situation on the ground in Kenya, I see a nation torn by its own challenges as well as its opportunities. Unfortunately very few have caught onto the train called progress and we, habitually and with shocking persistence, digress from the only road that leads us there.
When there was the Westgate Siege, Mpeketoni or the Garissa University attack, we were all united and connected both virtually and in reality; keeping tabs on the story, giving what we could, constantly talking and praying about the situation… Times like these, ironically, brought us closer than we have ever been as a people and by their remarkable effects, confirmed just how much we can accomplish when we come together for a cause.
Now, let’s move past the feelings and start to take combined efforts to actualize our ideal nation. This year, 2017, is the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development as declared by the United Nations. Placing emphasis on Sustainable Development Goals that were laid out in a bid to mitigate the negative aspects of climate change, poverty, hunger, gender equality, education among others which continue to be felt worldwide. They go a step further to try and very possibly resolve the causes by replacing old practices with sustainable ones.
The UN and all its member States think this is a viable global project to embark on because back in 2000, they met and penned down Millennium Development Goals. The MDGs were goals that aimed to half the extreme poverty rates, halt HIV/AIDS and provide universal primary education. By the time they got to their deadline, 2015, the MDGs had achieved most of their targets excellently which inspired the SDGs. January 2016 was the official launch of the SDGs and we have now, the next 13 years to make our world sustainable to avoid the impending chaos up ahead.
Sadly the youth, who are heavily engrossed in social media, and by God’s grace who will be running this country come that year, are out here busy on all platforms but those that seriously matter. We waste so much time on social sites trying to be like others that we don’t have time to work on ourselves to get there. Platforms like government seminars, entrepreneurial forums or even motivational sessions are very poorly attended by the youth. The same cannot be said of concerts and entertainment events. We barely graze the surface if ever we try to understand these life-changing opportunities and frankly, just as we do school, we consider it a bore and a waste of time.
The SDGs have the same expected deadline as our Kenyan Agenda: 2030. The plan is already laid out for us. All we have to do is get the blueprint, internalize it, apply all our ingenious ideas and implement immediately. We are up against climate change, poverty, hunger, gender equality, sanitation, health, among many other challenges and I see huge opportunity in both public and private sector for brilliant minds to occupy.
These are extremely big objectives that need an uprising of revolutionaries who believe in the vision and are ready to put in the time and effort necessary to guarantee the successful attainment of the set goals. We must begin to transform ourselves by the renewing of our minds. We must quit and renounce that herd mentality and decide to take appropriate action to secure the future we want. We must individually decide to take 100% responsibility for our lives and pick a sustainable or National Agenda goal we are passionate about, throw ourselves completely on it and rely on and trust each other.
Thankfully, all is not lost as there are some pioneers who are consistently and constantly advocating for change and charting a new course with new ways of doing things. As stakeholders of this world, we must all rally behind worthy and noble causes that push the boundaries, challenge doctrines and provide results. Because whether we like it or not, we have a responsibility to our world which will be occupied by our children one day. And when they ask, for they will most certainly ask, what will you tell them your role was in creating their world at 2030?
For us to thrive, not just survive, our love for each other will have to improve. So, before we think of tribe or race, let us remember that we are human first and that we all love our lives then let us agree to combine all our uniqueness and create a masterpiece. We can do it. I believe in every one of us.
“Ask not what your country can do for you — ask what you can do for your country” – John F. Kennedy