The Challenge of Making Africa’s 830 Million Young People ‘Effective Citizens’

By John Dramani Mahama and Siddharth Chatterjee

John Dramani Mahama is the former President of the Republic of Ghana. (Follow him on twitter.) Siddharth Chatterjee is the UN Resident Coordinator to Kenya. (Follow him on twitter.)

ACCCRA | NAIROBI (IDN-INPS) – In July 2017, Spanish charity workers rescued 167 migrants arriving from Africa aboard a small boat.

2016 was the deadliest for migrants attempting to cross the Mediterranean, with at least 3800 deaths recorded. Most know the dangers they face on the route, yet still choose the possibility of death in overcrowded and unseaworthy vessels over the hopelessness of life in areas they reside.

Consider this. Every 24 hours, nearly 33,000 youth across Africa join the search for employment. About 60% will be joining the army of the unemployed.

A report from the United Nations High Commission for Refugees released in May 2017 claims that seven in ten of those heading for Europe are not refugees fleeing war or persecution, but economic migrants in search of better lives.

Africa’s youth population is growing rapidly and is expected to reach over 830 million by 2050. Whether this spells promise or peril depends on how the continent manages its “youth bulge”. MORE >>>

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