Africa’s Youngest Billionaire is 43 years old Mohammed Dewji.
It looks odd to have the word ‘young’ and ’43’ in a sentence but that is the reality, that continent with 63% of its overall population below the age of 25 has its youngest billionaire approaching his 50th birthday.
I know I know, it’s a billion we are talking here and Unless you are to inherit an estate or an heir sitting in line for your turn to a dynastical wealth, amassing wealth to a billion is no easy achievement anywhere and especially in Africa where prevailing conditions constraint even life’s basic.
Out here, talents are underrated leading many to ditch their passions for professions just so they could live meaningfully.
So what has led to this deficiency? Is it with our social setup or our naturing processes? There is a general thinking out there, that young minds have very little to offer and thus one has to be grown before they can contribute meaning. Although some cultures seem to encourage youthful role-playing many more limit their role in society to only the age of adolescence and in some case having little to say even in matters that directly affect them.
The trend now among many young minds in Ghana and largely across the sub-region is the rush for ‘quick money’. many now are engaged in fraudulent schemes, ritual money, with others risking their lives through the Sahel as economic migrants for menial jobs in Europe, a sad reality and a drain of resourceful minds of the continent.
Could this also be a defect our educational system and the way we tutored? in this day and age where everyone is encouraged to think outside the box, knowledge acquisition by most students in deprived areas are limited to books, they learn everything about a computer at the turn of pages. and are we to expect any next-gen tech savvy’s if this is our input? Elsewhere, there are stories of people in their teens holding Doctorates could this be a possible for a Ghanaian teen?
Basic infrastructure and personnel are woefully inadequate with gaps far worse in deprived communities and underdeveloped nations. Yet we pride ourselves with fancy tags, ‘the hope of the future’ the ‘next big thing’, a key feature of the African Union (AU) Agenda 2063 is to ”Empower women and youth to fulfill the African Dream’‘ are we making the bed for that dream?
Could it be with our government and statutory Institutions? Is their belief in the youth mere talk or adding to the global chorus? Many brilliant ideas lay in many minds, brilliant ideas which are gradually fading as a result of funding and technical Support.
If you’re lucky to surmount these challenges government taxes and many may soon send you packing and with a hostile start-up environment in many fields and sectors, the chances of the exuberant young mind surviving is slimming by each the day.
I use myself as an example, I have always had the passion to write, but never followed it through perhaps if I had, and not feared the outcomes, who knows maybe a Dan Brown or James Patterson? Food for thought.