Young people are a force to drive things forward
Demographically speaking, Bangladesh is now a very young nation, and this presents us with a tremendous opportunity. Young people have great untapped potential, and they are, no doubt, our nation’s greatest human resources. It is time to let the youth contribute -- but more than that, lead the way forward.
We must not, however, drag our feet on this matter: According to experts, Bangladesh will become an ageing country in about 20 years. There is a window of opportunity here, then, that we must jump on. In fact, we probably have less time on our hands than Nepal, Thailand, Indonesia, China, and Malaysia, which are expected to transition to an ageing population in 22-24 years.
Unfortunately, we have already wasted a lot of time. At the root of this, there lie retrograde viewpoints, and a reluctance to embrace change. Young people are a force to drive things forward, but for that to happen, their voices must be heard -- they must be empowered. Most entrepreneurs who have changed the face of society, moving us into a more digital world, are young. This makes sense -- young people are the ones not burdened by old, outdated, or failed patterns of thinking. They are the ones not afraid to innovate -- while tradition and heritage must be respected, blindly clinging to the past will hold us back.
In this ultra-competitive world, we cannot afford to languish in the ways of the past. We need to put control in the hands of the youth, let them experiment, fail, get back up, and ultimately power through the challenges that stand in our way and take Bangladesh into the future.