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Intergenerational solidarity, key to driving sustainable innovation in Nigeria – Experts

Experts with specialisation on adolescent and young people’s health have explained that Intergenerational solidarity is essential to achieving sustainable innovation in Nigeria

Intergenerational solidarity refers to the degree of closeness and support between different generations.

Adenike Esiet, Executive Director, Action Health Incorporated during her keynote address at a symposium put together by the Society for Adolescent and Young People’s Health in Nigeria, (SAYPHIN), themed ‘Driving Innovation for Adolescent & Youth Health’ said intergenerational solidarity enables the young and old people tap into each other’s strength and endeavours such that there is development and reduction for the growth of the country.

Esiet who explained that intergenerational solidarity requires respect from both sides of the divide, stressed that young people’s desires need to be respected and at the same time young people need to show empathy and understanding towards the old.

She further explained that the old people have experience, wisdom and accumulated knowledge gained from life’s experience, while young people bring fresh and creative ideas, energy and optimism of seeing possibilities.

“No society makes progress without a vision for possibility. Young people also have the courage and doggedness for getting things done,” Esiet added.

She stressed that when there is a synergy of these attributes between the old and the young in Nigeria, the country would become a better place.

She hinted that the last global report on ageism shows that for intergenerational solidarity to be achieved, there must be deliberate policies and law, educational activities that can dispel misconceptions between generations and more intergenerational contact activities.

Akinsanya Osibogun, professor of public health college of Medicine, University of Lagos and chairman Primary Health Care Development Board, Ministry of Health, Lagos encouraged the Nigerian youths to take advantage of whatever opportunities exist and not to discountenance adults and experience because adults bring unto the table experience and wisdom.

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“The youths bring to the table energy and currency. I believe that the two generations can work together to develop our society, so that the country can be better for it. We must tap on what the youths can bring to the table which are energy and innovation,” Osibogun said.

He said there is a need to accept the fact that the youths and young people are in a different time and their ways of looking at things will be slightly different from the way adults look at things.

“We are in an internet age and access to information is more rapid now than it was in the past. Therefore, we must put in place policies that recognise the changing times. We need to provide opportunities for youths to be mentored and should be encouraged and opportunity for them to grow and be developed,” he added.

Adesegun Fatusi, president of Society for Adolescent and Young People’s Health in Nigeria, (SAYPHIN), said the symposium is held commemorate the United Nations International Youth Day observed to draw attention to a given set of cultural and legal issue, with this year’s theme as Intergenerational Solidarity: Creating a World for All Ages, we hope to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

He said SAYPHIN has also unveiled the logo of its conference which will be held next year.

“We hold a national conference every two years on adolescent and youth development. So, we are starting today to launch the logo for the conference that will be coming up in August, next year in Lagos called Eko 2023. So, this day is significant to SAYPHIN and our agenda to continue to drive development of young people in this country.

“The youth agenda is about optimising young people to be able to equip them with necessary skills and knowledge to fulfil their potentials as well as create the environment that will support them to be the best they can be and make impact in the society,” Fatusi said.

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