Thursday, February 10, 2005

Ageism

"We want you [White Farmers] to stay and to farm well in this country. This is the policy of the government. WHAT THE GOVERNMENT NEEDS IS EXPERIENCE, and I don't care where it comes from. I will take it with both hands." Mzee Jomo Kenyatta addressing white farmers in Nakuru (Aug 12th 1963)

I found this article quite interesting: http://www.nationmedia.com/dailynation/nmgcontententry.asp?category_id=39&newsid=25179

The author some very valid points. Just because an individual is 55 years plus, does not mean that he is useless to society, he/she continues to hold a great repository of knowledge and expertise in his particular field, this is particularily so in the public sector. If we are to be a nation that believes in non-discrimination, then we must not discriminate against those who are 55 years or older. As the author points out, African culture is very respectful of elders and used to rely on them for advice on a myriad of issues. As long as a public servant is competent, they should be allowed to work, until that point when they are no longer useful.

On the otherhand, I believe that the government should creat active training programs that would allow younger civil servants to work under more experienced practitioners, and develop the skills necessary to take over the jobs of the older individuals. In the 60's and 70's, Kenya undertook a gradual and sytematic "Africanization" of the economy, and I think it served us pretty well. We should also embark on a gradual and deliberate "Younginization" of our civil service. We should not do it in one revolutionary sweep, but use the older civil servants as mentors, to train the younger, promising civil servants.

3 Comments:

Blogger www.mentalacrobatics.com said...

this is another area where the leaders at the top should be setting an example. The same people who were signing official documents on behalf of Kenya in the 1960's are the same people signing them now.
It is an African problem too. Check out the jobs section on the AU website some jobs are labelled 30 and over, 40 and over, for jobs like translators???

1:54 PM  
Blogger nick said...

hi there tanye...like the blogger and especially the blogger title. i can just imagine americans pronouncin or thinkin what an outstandin name. ha

i'll keep readin

8:25 AM  
Anonymous Kui said...

Amen to that!!

It is not just Kenya that ignores, mistreats, abuses and undervalues older people.

One way to change this would be to introduce age awareness in schools. Hopefully this would help to shake up some of the age related myths and stereotypes.

Oh...the name of your blog had me laughing all day.

6:11 PM  

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