President Nursultan Nazarbayev’s article “Course towards the future: modernising Kazakhstan’s identity” is well written and should be of great interest to many around the world. He displays a clear and strong voice, and has obviously a great overview of history when he describes his thoughts on the past, present and future in the article.
Kazakhstan and the rest of the world have indeed entered a new period in history, which could leave the unprepared behind while others more adaptable will be able to take the front seat. The effort in this article is in my opinion of great importance and deserves recognition on a larger scale.
To adapt in order to be better equipped and prepared for the future is certainly not an easy process, especially for one of the larger countries in the world. It demands a great understanding and respect for history, with its great many learning lessons, and a clear sight and orientation in many directions, all of which President Nazarbayev displays at length in the article. And it requires good solutions and means to see them through.
In short, his words on competitiveness, pragmatism, preserving national identity, on knowledge, evolution and having an open attitude will also cling positively to many in the West. And his ideas on incorporating the Latin alphabet in Kazakhstan, together with the importance of education for the young and focus on English language learning, all seem sound and well thought through.
These adaptations to a changing world should indeed strengthen Kazakhstan’s strategically important position in the world. And they could also secure future generations of people in Kazakhstan good and sustainable lives in a new world. And these words should also sound good both to people in the West and the younger people of Kazakhstan: “Our future will be created in our classrooms” and “Nepotism has no place in such a system. This is the way to build a career only in a failed and under-developed society.”
There are many lessons to be learned from the current situation in Europe, with Brexit, the rise of populism, opposition to ruling elites, new challenges because of the migration crisis, terror attacks and much more. The apparent loss of cultural and historical roots to many in Europe has now backlashed, and we are indeed facing a new future. Cultural and national identity are considered more important now than in the past three decades. Those who will win, those who are best prepared for the future, will be the ones who are best at adaption, and who are able to lean on the past while looking ahead for the future. I acknowledge President Nazarbayev’s attempt at exactly this, and wish him and the whole country of Kazakhstan the best for the future with these plans.
The author is famous founder and expedition leader, historian and economist from Norway. He became well known for testing DNA both from the living and the dead travelling to unique locations around the world to debunk historical facts and prove historical myths.