Youth challenges in Africa today

Today, there are 1.2 billion young people aged 15 to 24 years, accounting for 16% of the global population. By 2030 the target date for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that make up the 2030 Agenda, the number of youths is projected to have grown by 7%, to nearly 1.3 billion.

Further, according to the UN, Africa has the youngest population in the world, with 70% of sub-Saharan Africa under the age of 30 years. And it is projected that by 2050, sub-Saharan Africa will have more than double the youth population of China and more than half that of the youth of India. With the combination of century-old problems and unprecedented challenges youth face in Africa today, including the situation of COVID-19 pandemic has greatly affected the youth development hence calls for quick interventions across different institutions to save the future.

Youth development is very vital and without certain skills, the youth cannot get access to the future economy they always dream of. Such a big number of young people is an opportunity for the continent’s growth only if empowered socio-economically, included in process decision making, policy making, and given appropriate opportunities to work and innovate for a better tomorrow.

The majority of sub-Saharan African youth are growing up in a context of widespread poverty, high rates of unemployment, rapid urbanization, often-limited educational opportunities, and rapid socio-cultural transformations characterized by weakening social controls and breakdown of traditional norms. These challenges have far-reaching implications for the health and wellbeing of youth and for the potential contributions of youthful populations to the economies of African nations.

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