By Nyakech Julius

“Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. It contains within it two key concepts:

(I) The concept of 'needs', in particular, the essential needs of the world's poor, to which overriding priority should be given; and (II) The idea of limitations imposed by the state of technology and social organization on the environment's ability to meet present and future needs.”- World Commission on Environment and Development, Our Common Future (1987)

There are generally 17 sustainable development goals set by United Nations in 2015 namely no poverty, zero hunger, good health, quality education, global warming, gender equality, clean water and sanitation, clean energy, decent work and economic growth, industrial innovation and infrastructure, reducing inequalities, sustainable cities and communities, responsible consumption and production, climate action, life below water, life on land and finally peace and social justice. Selected of the above SDGs are comprehensively explained below.

The term ‘youth’ can be used to describe young people in general between childhood and adulthood. The youth have a big role to play in economic situations and social situations.

The SDGs are mainly aimed to be achieved for a peaceful coexistence and for a better living. Since the goals are universal, hence there is the need of countries to join hands to make the SDGs a reality.


There is need for a quality, formal education that is inclusive(touching on all major aspects of economy),equitable and of quality. Significant progress have however been made as millions of children and youths have had access to free quality and equitable development. This has in turn enabled them to become more innovative and inventive hence acquiring employment opportunities and as a result helping in building the economy by paying taxes and also by promoting the social welfare through funding various development projects. The youth too can use the skill acquired to find efficient ways of conserving the environment. 


The goal aims at ensuring good health and being of people. The youths in good health can take part in various economy building initiatives such as taking part in farming to produce food for consumption and for sale hence generating income. Good health also enables one to be of sound mind hence can be self-employed, reducing the unemployment gaps and poverty in general. 


The goal aims at ending hunger, achieving food security, improved nutrition and sustainable agriculture through improving soil fertility, introduction of generic seeds and through access to agricultural land. Through this, the youths can venture into modern farming hence generating food and income and also providing employment opportunities directly or indirectly. This as a results leads to economic growth, social well-being and also environment conservation through use of modified seeds and methods that does not pollute the environment. 


As a SDG, it aims at achieving gender equality and also to empower women and girls who have for long termed been termed as neglected. Through the various legislation and strategies put in place to prevent early marriages and earn women economic freedom, girls can use the opportunity to school and in turn get employed. Women can also acquire property and engage in profitable projects lime farming and business hence generating income which contribute to economic development. The equality help in a peaceful coexistence in the society. Hence economic growth due to the conducive environment.


The goal aims at promoting peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, make justice affordable and build institutions that are accountable and effective .This is by reducing violent crime, sex traffic, forced labor and child abuse. This enables the youths to be ‘free’ from these crimes and be available for economic development programmes, social networking and also effective environment environmental policies freely as the law guarantees their freedom. The economic involvement includes free trade which generate funds and help in economic development , community building workshops among communities and globally which promote community coexistence. The youth too can fight corruption and economic imbalance through the laws put in place by reporting corrupt officials and individuals and also by campaigning against corruption and other sock vices leading to economic stability and social development.


The goal aims at taking action to encounter climate change and its impacts by regulating emissions and promoting development in renewable energy. The youth can take the opportunity to find employment in the supply of clean energy. This can too serve as an economic break through as it generates funds which promotes economic development. The youths can also use their education skills to generate clean energy contributing to environmental conservation and a peaceful coexistence in the habitat. The youth too can help reclaim arid and semi-arid areas into agricultural productive lands which can sustain the population and also help in economic development. 


the goal aims at ensuring good infrastructure, promoting an inclusive and sustainable development and cherishing innovation at the same time. Youths can take the opportunity and engage in businesses which becomes productive and sustainable through developed infrastructure. The youth too can secure employment opportunities in the construction companies and industries leading to a reduced unemployment gap in the society. Through innovation, the youth can come up with efficient designs in construction which are environment friendly. Through this too, youths can come up with new ways to do businesses online through e-commerce reaching a wider market.

The above sustainable development goals are just but a few. The youth have a place in every sustainable development goal to bring into existence a better economic, social and environment. However the sustainable development goals have been criticized as broad and expensive, significant progress has been made and youths used the opportunities effectively.