Sunday 7 January 2024

Lessons for African Youth: Critical Thinking Matters

Photo by Josh Couch on Unsplash

By Adetayo Adetokun

Lesson 4: Critical Thinking Matters

Critical thinking is a mental toolkit that every young African should sharpen. It is the ability to analyze, evaluate, and synthesize information, and it is a skill that underpins informed decision-making, problem-solving, and innovation.

Critical thinking is the compass that helps one navigate the sea of data and discern fact from fiction. It enables young Africans to question assumptions, challenge prevailing beliefs, and arrive at well-reasoned conclusions.

But critical thinking is not just about skepticism: it is also about curiosity. Encouraging young minds to ask ‘why’ and ‘how’ fosters a thirst for knowledge and an appetite for exploration. It is about nurturing a mindset that seeks to understand the deeper layers of the world, whether in science, culture, or politics.

Moreover, critical thinking is a powerful tool for solving complex problems. In a continent grappling with multifaceted challenges, from healthcare disparities to political corruption, the ability to dissect these issues critically is essential. Young Africans who possess strong critical thinking skills become catalysts for positive change, identifying innovative solutions and advocating for their implementation.

Critical thinking is not just about personal gain: it is about applying one's intellectual prowess to benefit society. It is about recognizing the moral imperative to use one's skills for the greater good, to challenge injustice, and to advocate for fairness. Critical thinking is a bridge between knowledge and action. It is not enough to identify problems: young Africans should also be empowered to propose solutions and advocate for change. Critical thinking is the foundation upon which effective advocacy and leadership are built.

Critical thinking is a skill that empowers young Africans to be active participants in shaping their future. It is about equipping them with the ability to navigate the complexities of the modern world with clarity and confidence. 


Read all twelve lessons here.


The lessons outlined here are not merely suggestions: they are a blueprint for the empowerment and transformation of young African youth. 

At Shades of Us, these lessons are not just principles: they are at the core of our mission. By embracing these  lessons, young Africans become the protagonists of their narratives.

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