The pandemic is currently becoming a menace to the continent of Africa. As a result, most of the profound problems affecting the continent are being under looked. It is true the virus serves as a priority at the moment, but let that not blindfold the fact that Africa is facing a severe problem with its youth. More so, when it comes to unemployment. Statistics have proven that the youths majorly populate Africa.
The youth statistics in Africa
According to the UN, one is qualified to be called a youth if he lies in the 18-24 age gap. In 2015, the total population of the youth added up to 226 million. A 2030 projection was done, and this saw the number increasing by 42%. The continent itself is youthful. This is in regards to the statistics put forward that affirms that 60% of the entire continent is aged below 25 years. Africa is the youngest continent in the world.
One would resort to the thought of a developed continent, given the above statistics, with the mindset that the young people in the continent are contributing significantly to the development of the continent. I mean, with such vast resources at your disposal, you would be missing out on a lot if one did not tap on to the presented resources.
The African Union (AU) African Youth Charter agrees that Africa’s youth serves as a high potential in advancing human capital in the continent. Therefore, improvement in the health and education sectors are mainly contributing to the empowering of youths and the realization of better and improved continent economically, socially, and politically.
The reality of the youth in Africa
Despite the education provided, it seems it isn’t enough to help the youth. Surprisingly, the graduates are facing it rough in the job markets. Those with basic education have a higher employment rate compared to those that have advanced higher learning. There is an exception to this truth for South Africa, Namibia, Seychelles, and Swaziland.
Those who land on jobs are not, in any case, that comforting. They are mostly informal jobs. Lack of formal employment has consequently forced many youths to settle on informal jobs to at least satisfy their basic needs. The “wait hood” then kicks in. As one waits to land on the formal job, one has to put up with the informal one. This only translates to delayed adulthood.
The youth’s livelihoods
The “wait hood” is not doing the youth any favors. Their financial status is not fully independent, and this translates to their living standards as well. It is not shocking to find most of them living with their parents and guardians. I mean, what other choice do they have? Not to mention the alarming youth population that at the very least can own a financial account. It’s a reality that most of them have to bear with.
A survey that was conducted disclosed that 60% of the youths are in agreement that their governments are doing little, if not nothing, to address their issues. They believe that people in authority have turned a deaf ear to the youths’ pleas. Hopefully, Covid-19 will serve as a wakeup call to the African countries. As evidenced, infections are increasing. The youth have recorded higher odds of recovering, thanks to their strong immune system. Educated, skilled, healthy, and energetic is just the needed kind of human resources in Africa. Investing in youth will be the right call to make. Youths’ lives matter too.