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The burdern of unfulfilled potential

Invest in the youth

There is no heavier burden than unfulfilled potential. These are the words made famous by Charles Schulz, the American cartoonist who created the Peanuts, comic strip. These words seem to ring truer for the kingdom of Eswatini, of whose total population of about 1.1 million people; more than 70% is below the age of 35 years. This represents a huge potential for our small kingdom, if we make the right investments in these young people today. On the flip side, if we neglect to make the right investments in young people, then we will all have to bear the heavy weight of their unfulfilled potential. Am afraid it might be a weight too heavy for our country to bear. If we think the price of investing in our young people today is too high, we are sure to be shocked by how much the bill for not investing will be.

The shift in the population structure of Eswatini is presenting us a rare opportunity for accelerated economic growth, which results from the working-age population (15 to 64), being larger than the non-working-age share of the population (14 and younger, and 65 and older). Since the bulk of our population is either moving into or already within the working age; we have never had a better opportunity to turn our socio-economic situation around as a nation. This is a phenomenon known as the demographic dividend.

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