Commodore, Royal Saudi Navy (Retired)
The Saudi Vision 2030 is one of the most ambitious plans to transform the country and prepare it for the future. It is a plan that outlines long-term goals to utilize the country's assets for the future generations. In other words, it is designed to help the country and its citizens where the youths have been given priority. Saudi Arabia has the highest percentage of young men and women among its population in the world and the number is on the increase.
Now, it has been barely few months since the announcement of Vision 2030 and we can see a number of steps being taken to achieve many of its goals. The world had seen the fruitful visits to the United States and France by Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman that shed light on the determination to work with well-known establishments and companies in these two countries to enhance the investment opportunities in the Kingdom. Many firms in the US and France showed interest to be part of Saudi Vision 2030.
Saudi Arabia had and is still providing a lot for its youths, free education and free health care are among them. Now, young Saudi men and women must realize their responsibilities toward their country. For that, it is important to educate them about their responsibilities and accountabilities. Many of our youth do not understand the importance of maintaining our achievements. They are also unaware of the importance of becoming a productive element of the society.
Saudi Arabia has the most extensive and generous social welfare program under which many essential products are subsidized such as electricity, water, fuel and many food products. This cannot continue forever. It has to change sometime in the future.
Saudis, especially the young ones, never faced any hardship in the past and they are not used to hard work and do not know how to contribute to the country's development. Many of our youths are accustomed to a culture of mass consumption of practically everything. Saudi Vision 2030 has a plan to educate them about the importance of how to better utilize our assets and maintain them.
For instance, we build excellent highways to ensure fast and comfortable travel and at the same time to make our journey safe and accident free. But reckless driving, mostly by our youths, costs the Kingdom thousands of lives and billions of riyals in losses. It is our responsibility to hammer home the point to our youths that roads and highways are to ensure safe travel and not for reckless driving.
Similarly, when the government builds a university spending a large amount of money, provides free admission and sometimes pays stipend, the aim is to make our youths productive members of the society. Kingdom also spends a huge amount on the higher education of Saudi students by sending them abroad.
When the government builds any infrastructure, it is for our benefit. So, it is our duty to maintain the public places and help keep them clean.
Saudi Vision 2030 will be easily achievable if young Saudis start looking at things around them in a different way and with a different perspective. Jobs are available, those may not be the type of jobs they want but if they want to work, they have the opportunities. Part-time jobs are also available.
Bright future awaits Saudi youths but hard work is a must. We need to see more Saudi youths working in the sun and we need to see them sweat like their fathers and grandfathers who worked hard and contributed to the development of the country.
Our youths need to change some of their habits because they are the driving force that can make the Vision 2030 a grand success.
They must change their working habits, studying habits and behavior. There are many jobs in the Kingdom for which we don't need to bring expatriates. The 2030 Vision aims to open many doors for the young. There are many projects planned for the future that will not only provide more job opportunities for the young men and women, but will also open new avenues for young Saudis in terms of entertainment. The Saudi Vision is mainly for the Saudi youths and the future generations, so, it is their duty to help this vision come to reality. Saudi youths now have a golden opportunity to be part of this ambitious vision.
Written by Abdulateef Al-Mulhim. Vision 2030 and The Role of Our Youth reprinted with permission of Arab News and Abdulateef Al-Mulhim.