Even if global mitigation measures work and temperatures stop rising at some point during this century, African countries will still experience negative effects, starting now, at least until 2050. While mitigation investments in Africa could have long-term payoffs (e.g., in the last half of this century) if they do succeed in slowing down or halting rising temperatures, adaptation investments are needed now.
Youth Are the Future of Iran
By Dr. Hossein Omidi, Ph.D.
Political, International, and Cultural Expert
November 28, 2021
“We Should Move On the Path to Making Iran a Source of Science within 50 Years”
The Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution,
Grand Ayatollah Imam Khamenei
A group of Iranian academic elites and top scientific talents met with Imam Khamenei on November 17, 2021. After hearing the remarks of the academic elites and scholars, the Leader of the Islamic Revolution emphasized the destructive role colonialism has always played in holding other nations back by trying to persuade them "to ignore their talents" during this meeting.
The Leader of the Islamic Revolution expressed his satisfaction with the meeting with the academic elites, describing genius as a divine blessing and reminding the youth to be grateful for this blessing. "What makes an outstanding person outstanding is not merely talent and mental capacity, because many individuals have a high mental capacity, but it is wasted in them," His Eminence added, explaining the characteristics of a genius and an outstanding person.
Imam Khamenei addressed the youth of Iran, saying, now, my dear sons and daughters, I'd like to give you some advice on a few important topics. Science and research; spirituality and morals; the economy; justice and the fight against corruption; independence and liberty; national dignity, international relations, enemy borderlines, and way of life. My first piece of advice is to be hopeful and to have an optimistic outlook on the future. Without this fundamental key to any deadlock, not a single step forward can be taken. What I'm referring to is genuine hope based on obvious realities.
"If a talented, gifted individual does not take advantage of and use this blessing, and if they are lazy, uncaring, and negligent, they will definitely not become an outstanding person," he said. A remarkable person is one who expresses gratitude to God." Imam Khamenei reiterated that it is primarily up to the exceptional individual to appreciate this blessing. Second, it is up to his environment, or more specifically, his family, teachers, and, ultimately, the government and officials of the country, to assist him in doing so.
Iran's level of talent and intelligence, according to the Leader of the Islamic Revolution, is higher than the global average. "One important part of the soft war waged by the colonizers at present and at all times has been causing the Iranian nation to forget, become indifferent to, or deny its talents," he added.
His Eminence described Africa as a continent with great historical civilizations, but he added that colonialism destroyed that continent. "Nehru said that before the British entered India, India was a self-sufficient country in terms of its own domestic industry - the industries in the early 19th century," he said, referring to Nehru's book. However, when the British arrived, first the East India Company and then the British government, the people of India were led to believe that it was impossible to live without British and foreign products. This entails denying a nation's capabilities."
According to Thione Niang, co-founder of Akon Lighting Africa, "youth in Africa are isolated and underrepresented in governance across the continent." Sixty percent of Africa's 1.25 billion people are under the age of 25—the world's youngest population—but the median age of African leaders is 62, which is older than the OECD median. "In many cases, the younger generation is more knowledgeable, equipped, and prepared to address today's fast-moving issues than the establishment leadership," Niang writes.
Even if global mitigation measures work and temperatures stop rising at some point during this century, African countries will still experience negative effects, starting now, at least until 2050. While mitigation investments in Africa could have long-term payoffs (e.g., in the last half of this century) if they do succeed in slowing down or halting rising temperatures, adaptation investments are needed now. The costs of climate change will be borne by Africa's children and youth, including those who have just been born. Half of Africa's population is under 20 years old. This group will bear the direct consequences (e.g., severe weather disasters) as well as the indirect consequences—lost opportunities from needed investments in other areas that will not be made because public and private funds will be diverted to adaptation.
The infrastructure that Africa desperately needs will be more expensive because it will have to be more weather-resistant (otherwise it will break down more often, reducing benefits). African agricultural research and development will need to step up significantly if land and labor productivity are not to decline by up to 30%. As a result, African countries will have less public money available for other priorities, such as education, health, and nutrition. Investment in productive capacity will cost the private sector more too, slowing down growth and transformation. The result will be lower earnings and increased poverty. The youth of 2030 (ages 5-14 today) will reach their expected peak earnings period by 2045, when the worst economic effects will be felt up to an 80% drop in income growth (around 4% per year) compared to today. This long-term income loss will have a significant impact on their and their children's future. Why does this matter to the youth? Because Africa has the largest youth population and the oldest leaders.
According to John Page, a senior fellow in Brookings' Global Economy and Development Program, Africa's failure to industrialize, combined with a growing population of more educated and urbanized youth, "is a crisis in the making." He contends that industries "without smokestacks," such as tradable services, agro-industry, and horticulture, may be critical to addressing the issue.
On the word of McKinsey & Company's Acha Leke and Landry Signé, a David M. Rubenstein Fellow with the Africa Growth Initiative, potential investors in Africa should consider cities rather than the continent's 54 countries. Consistent with the map below, by 2030, Africa will have 17 cities with populations of more than 5 million, but also 90 cities with populations of at least one million. "Rapid urbanization is one compelling reason why companies should prioritize cities in their African growth strategies," they write.
By 2050 One-Third of Global Youth Will Be In Sub-Saharan Africa
In analyzing the behavior of colonizers in colonized countries, the Leader of the Islamic Revolution stated, "When disregard for one's own power and capabilities becomes dominant in a nation, plundering that nation becomes easy." Take note of how neglect and plundering are intertwined. Negligence leads to plundering, and plundering leads to more negligence... This is true for both countries that were directly colonized and countries like ours that were not directly colonized.
Imam Khamenei stated in his analysis of Iran's history over the past two centuries that Iran, too, suffered from the same fate prior to the victory of the Islamic Revolution. For most of its history, Iran's Islamic Republic has been engaged in a process of reform and reinvention, but each experiment in moderation has failed. Although Iran's revolutionary theocracy has evolved, the most problematic aspects of its ideology and institutions have remained unchanged since 1979. The Iranian revolution of 1979 was one of the most significant events of the late twentieth century.
The overthrow of the Western-leaning Shah and the emergence of a distinct religious government reshaped Iran dramatically, shifted the balance of power in the Middle East, and posed serious challenges to the global geopolitical order—challenges that persist to this day. The seizure of the US Embassy in Tehran later that year, and the ensuing hostage crisis, resulted in an acrimonious schism between America and Iran that has yet to be resolved. The revolution also resulted in a disastrous war between Iran and Iraq, as well as an expansion of the role of the US military in maintaining security in and around the Persian Gulf.
“New colonialism’s strategy: Causing nations to neglect their own talents”
Forty years after the revolution, more than two dozen experts reflect on the rise of the Islamic Republic and consider what the shocking events of 1979 still mean for the volatile Middle East and the rest of the world. The events of the revolution, whether its promises were kept or broken, the impact of clerical rule on ordinary Iranians, particularly women, US continuing hostility with Iran, and the ramifications not only for Iran's immediate neighborhood but also for the broader Middle East were investigated. When speaking about the existence of certain obstacles and unfair actions taken against Iran's academic elites, Imam Khamenei encouraged the youth to fight against and eliminate the obstacles. He stated that one way to thank God for being exceptional is to use one's talent in God's service.
In defining the stages involved in transforming Iran into a world scientific center, the Leader of the Islamic Revolution stated, "The first stage is to bridge the scientific gap that exists between us and other countries." There is a void that must be filled." "Of course, we admire the scientific progress we have made, as our statistics, which are based on global statistics, demonstrate." This scientific progress is commendable, and we have made significant strides. However, we are far from being at the forefront of science in the world, because they have held us back for the past two centuries."
Referring to the rapid pace of progress following the Revolution's victory, Imam Khamenei defined the second and third stages as follows: "The second stage is to advance beyond the borders of global science." In other words, we should be able to provide the world with new scientific aids and discoveries... The next step is to seek a new Islamic civilization." "Innovativeness means discovering a natural law that has remained undiscovered until today," said the Leader of the Islamic Revolution, urging academic elites to demonstrate creativity and innovativeness in scientific areas. Then, based on this discovery, you should conduct research and develop numerous new technologies. This is the path you must take."
He urged the country's scientific community to pay attention to the country's current issues and conduct problem-oriented research. He asked them to concentrate their efforts on developing scientific solutions to problems such as pollution and traffic congestion. When discussing artificial intelligence research, His Eminence emphasized that one of Iran's goals is to be among the top ten countries in artificial intelligence. He requested that scientists concentrate their efforts in this area. Imam Khamenei concluded his remarks by stating that Iran belongs to the youth. He referred to them as the architects of Iran's future. He requested that the administration employ the youth in a variety of capacities. He also urged the academic elites to prepare themselves and find their place in the country's governance.
Among all oppressed nations, few attempt to launch a revolution; and among those nations that have risen and launched a revolution, few have been seen to have pursued it to its conclusion or moved beyond merely changing the government and safeguarded their revolutionary values. However, the Iranian nation's auspicious Revolution—the greatest and most popular revolution of the modern era—is the only revolution that has persisted forty years of pride, saved from betrayal to its values, and preserved its dignity and original slogans against all temptations that seemed irresistible; thus, entering the second phase of self-development, society-processing, and civilization-building. A heartfelt greeting to this country, the generation that started and sustained [the movement], and the generation that is now entering the magnificent and global phenomenon of the second 40 ears!
The Islamic revolution of Iran stepped into the scene gloriously and mightily; it broke the frameworks; it flaunted to the world the out datedness of the clichés; it brought religion and the material world together and declared the arrival of a new era. The leaders of deviation and oppression were expected to react, but in vain. Whatever modernity's right and left did, from pretending to ignore this emerging and unprecedented voice to extensive efforts to suffocate it, only brought them closer to their unavoidable demise.
Today, after forty annual celebrations of the Revolution's victory and forty Fajr ten-days, one of the two centers of animosity has already died, and the second is battling predicaments that indicate its demise soon. The Islamic Revolution, on the other hand, is progressing while maintaining and adhering to its mottos. Although anything can be assumed to have an expiry date, the global mottos of this religious revolution are exceptional; they will never expire because they match human nature in all eras. Freedom, ethics, spirituality, justice, independence, dignity, rationality, and brotherhood are not limited to a single generation or society, where they rise in one period and fall in the next. It is difficult to imagine a people who reject these values. The reported cases of reluctance to these values were due to officials who had shrunk from these religious values, rather than their adherence to them and efforts to achieve them.
The Islamic revolution, like a living and unwavering phenomenon, is always adaptable and ready to correct its errors, but it is neither revisionist nor passive. It is positively sensitive to criticism; it sees it as both a divine blessing and a warning to those who do not act on their words; however, it does not deviate from its values, which are blended with the religious faith of the people, thanks be to God. Since its inception, the Islamic revolution has never suffered from, and will never suffer from, stagnation and recession, and it sees no conflict or contradiction between revolutionary dynamism and political and social order; rather, it eternally defends the revolutionary system theory.
The Islamic Republic is not reactionary, and it has perception and understanding of new phenomena and situations; however, it is steadfast in its principles. The gap between musts and realities has always troubled idealist consciences. However, this gap is fillable, and it will certainly be filled more vigorously in the future, with the presence of a young, faithful, wise, and motivated generation. This Revolution has never been merciless or bloodthirsty since its inception; it has never been passive or hesitant. It has defended the oppressed by standing firm and courageously up to bullies and thugs. This revolutionary bravery and gallantry, this honesty, assertiveness, and sovereignty; this global and regional realm of action in support of the world's oppressed are a source of pride for Iran and the Iranians, and may it continue in perpetuity!
The revolution ended a long period of historical decadence, and the country, which had been severely humiliated and utterly retrograded under the Pahlavi and Qajar dynasties, began to advance rapidly. In its first step, the revolution transformed the tyrannical monarchy's disgraceful regime into a popular and democratic state and brought the element of national determination—the essence of comprehensive and genuine progress—to the heart of the country's governance. It instilled in everyone the "we can do it" spirit and belief; thanks to the enemies' sanctions, it taught everyone to rely on domestic resources, and this revealed a source of great blessings.
For starters, it ensured the country's stability and security; territorial integrity and border protection—all of which were targeted by the enemy's serious threats—and gave rise to the eight-year war's miracle of victory, leading to the defeat of the Ba'athist regime and its American, European, and Eastern supporters. Second, it served as the country's engine in the development of science and technology, as well as in the creation of vital, economic, and constructional infrastructures that are becoming more prevalent by the day. Millions of university graduates or students; thousands of colleges and universities across the country; dozens of large projects, such as the nuclear fuel cycle, stem cells, nanotechnology, biotechnology, and so on, all of which rank among the top in the world; developing sixty times more non-oil exports and nearly ten times more industrial units.
Prior to the revolution, Iran produced no science or technology; it had no industry capability other than assembly and no scientific capability other than translation [of other works]. Third, the Revolution has brought to a head popular participation in political matters such as elections, dealing with internal seditions, turning out in national arenas, and scenes involving the fight against the Arrogant Front. In terms of social issues, it boosted, for example, humanitarian aids and charitable activities that had begun prior to the Revolution. Following the revolution, people were eager to assist those affected by natural disasters and social shortcomings.
The most important aspiring potential in the country is the skilled and capable human resource who has a strong, noble foundation of faith and religion. The young population under 40, a sizable portion of which is the result of the 1980s birth boom, represents a valuable prospect for the country. With a population of 36 million people aged 15 to 40; nearly 14 million people with higher education degrees; ranking second in the world in terms of science and engineering graduates; a large number of young people raised with a revolutionary spirit and ready to work for the sake of God and the love of their country; and a large number of intellectual and researching young people who are in the job of creating scientific, cultural, industrial, and other types of products, all add up to the enormous wealth of.
According to reports, Iran ranks first in the world in terms of untapped natural and human resources. Without a doubt, you, the faithful and active young people, can make up for this major shortcoming. The second decade of the forecast must be dedicated to capitalizing on previous achievements and untapped potentials, and the country's growth must be boosted in a variety of sectors, including production and the national economy.
The Youth of Iran must know that:
They are outstanding and genius which is a divine blessing for which one should be grateful to Allah. "And if it is Allah Whom you worship, thank Him for His blessings"([16:114] Holy Qur'an).
Being outstanding necessitates the use of capacities. In addition to possessing talent and mental capacity, what makes exceptional people exceptional is their appreciation of this reality and blessing. An amazing person is one who recognizes his or her gift, puts it to good use, and develops himself into an outstanding person by hard work and commitment.
There is a severe soft war waged by the colonizers against nations’ talents. Iran's average intellect is greater than the global average. This isn't merely an assertion; it's a confirmed reality. To put it another way, Iranians have the potential to be extraordinary. One of the most essential aspects of the colonialists' soft war, both now and in the past, has been to make Iranians, or any other talented nation, forget about their talent, become indifferent to it, or reject it. They keep saying, “You can’t. You can’t. You can’t” until these countries start believing the lie that says, “We can’t.” and they themselves affirm it. In other words, they reduced the country to such a hopeless state.
Neglect is the first step in plundering nations. Plundering a nation becomes easy when a culture of disregard for one's ability becomes dominant. It's worth noting that neglect and pillage exacerbate each other. Looting begins with carelessness, and neglect increases with plundering. Plundering and neglect come together. This is true for countries that were directly colonized as well as ones that were not directly colonized, such as ours. That's why they'd like us to overlook our abilities. The subject of neglect is discussed in depth in the Qur'an.
It is necessary for the academic elite to feel accountable for the country's affairs. However, outstanding kids must also feel a sense of obligation to the country. It is sometimes even important for the intellectual elite to deal with the current difficulties. You may have to overcome challenges at times. Of course, some unfair actions may take place. These things should not deter outstanding people. They should take responsibility for their actions, work harder to overcome obstacles, and pursue their plans.
The outstanding people have a major role in helping the country reach the frontlines of global science. Scientific personalities must look to the future, to Iran's drawn horizon for science, and pay attention to it. Iran can once again become a global supplier of science in the world. In other words, if people want to know about the latest scientific findings, they will have to learn Farsi. Once at a point in history, our scientists were at the pinnacle of knowledge in the world.
A depiction of the stages required for reaching the pinnacle of science in the world. Of course, there are some steps that must be completed. The first step is to close the scientific gap between us and other countries. There is a significant void that must be filled. The first step is to close this gap. The second step is to go beyond the limits of global knowledge. In other words, we should be able to provide the world with new scientific tools and findings. The final phase is to work toward establishing a new Islamic civilization. Scientific growth is unquestionably one of the most fundamental pillars of the New Islamic culture. This is something that the youth must prepare for.
The academic elites are so important in scientific breakthroughs. Many scientific activities are taking place in Iran today, but these activities are often the byproducts of the scientific creation of others. What is needed and should be pursued is the creation of science. You must be inventive. You must create science, which frequently occurs because of the discovery of a natural force. That is, scientific innovation is the outcome of discovering a valuable law that exists in nature but has yet to be discovered. Science and numerous technologies are developed based on this law. Our brightest students and outstanding youth must pursue careers in science that allow them to be creative. The discovery of a scientific point can be aided by the discovery of a natural truth, a tradition, a valuable law, or an element in nature and science created by God. Then science will emerge from that point.
Problem-solving is necessary. The scientific community, including academic elites, should consider Iran's problems and work in a problem-solving manner. It's crucial to be problem-solving oriented. Iran faces critical concerns that must be addressed. These issues must be addressed scientifically. For every issue, there is a solution. It is possible to find a scientific solution to all the problems of the country. So, through scientific solutions, one should confidently try to eliminate problems such as water scarcity, environmental issues, traffic congestion, social problems, addiction, divorce, marginalization, migration from villages and village destruction, banking, financial, and tax system problems, and obstacles to production in Iran.
Iran needs to progress in artificial intelligence. Artificial intelligence should be one of the concerns that we pay close attention to since it will have a significant impact on how the world is governed in the future. We need to strive hard to be among the top ten countries in the world in this field.
Discouraging the academic elite and urging them to migrate to other countries is a betrayal to our beautiful and beloved mother land Iran. The academic elite must remember that they owe Iran a debt, and that they must go study and return. It is treachery to encourage academic elites to relocate. This isn't friendship with the youth; it’s enmity with the country. Disappointing our outstanding youth or even one young person about Iran's future, discouraging him, and painting a bleak picture of the future while pressuring him to migrate is a betrayal that must be investigated.
Cultural obstacles preventing production must be eliminated. Obstacles such as feelings of hopelessness, incapability, boredom, indetermination, and adversely influencing entertainment can produce these emotional setbacks, leaving youth feeling bleak about their future.
In the case of knowledge-based companies, to be strict is a must. There are 7000 knowledge-based companies, in Iran. However, the knowledge-based organization's quality must improve. Being knowledge-based necessitates adhering to a set of rules that must be followed. Because Iran's main industries are not knowledge-based, these tiny knowledge-based businesses can be effective, and they can also help the country's huge sectors, such as the automobile industry and others, become knowledge-based.
Promoting their products and prohibiting the import of their foreign competitors are two prerequisites for strengthening knowledge-based businesses. Promoting knowledge-based enterprises' products within Iran is a fundamental condition for strengthening them. Their items should only be used in Iran.
Exports and the role of various organizations in promoting them is important. As a result, one issue concerns the home market, while the other concerns exports. There will be no improvement if exports are not increased. Knowledge-based businesses can play a role in this, but the government, more crucially, should play a role.
To boost the GDP proportion of knowledge-based businesses is necessary. As the share of knowledge-based enterprises account for less than 1% of GDP, they must significantly increase.
Youth of Our Beloved Iran!
During the last 40 years, and still today, the enemy's propaganda and communication policy, as well as its most active programs, have revolved around destroying people's and even our officials' and statesmen's faith in the future. False news, biased analysis, reversing facts, concealing the hopeful aspects, exaggerating minor problems, and berating or denying major advantages have been on the agenda of thousands of audio-visual and internet-based media outlets by Iran's enemies. And, of course, their supporters within the country can be seen exploiting the country's liberties to work in the service of the enemy.
You, the young people, must be the pioneers in breaking the siege of such propaganda. Grow the plant of future hope in yourself and those around you. Drive away fear and disappointment in yourself and others. This is your very first and most fundamental Jihad. Some of the signs of hope that have been mentioned are right in front of your eyes. The world admires and respects Iranian youth, as well as their perseverance and ingenuity in a variety of fields. Value yourself, and with God's help, ascend into the future and create epics.
You should know that the future belongs to you. Our Iran belongs to you. You are the ones who will build the future of Iran, and you are the managers of the future of Iran. You must prepare yourselves and prepare Iran as well. You can do this. You should prepare yourselves and find your own place and the role you wish to play in helping Iran to progress. You should determine what your position will be and then, you should place yourselves in that position, struggle, and work. You are the hope of Iran and Iranians. You are the dear children of the nation.
A decade of economic stagnation caused by sanctions and broken international promises has brought Iran’s middle class to a point that it may reconsider its future as a force for political moderation and globalization. In my next article, we will cover comparisons of youth in Iran, the Middle East, the United States, China, and other parts of the world as a means to gauge the progress of the human capital in the world and measure its successes and failures.
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