Optimism in Africa on the decline as youth weather various storms

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KAMPALA: Monday, June 13, 2022 – Young Africans are less optimistic about the future of their country than they were two years ago – and they are even more pessimistic if they live in Rwanda, Kenya or South Africa. They are only marginally more positive about the continent’s future.

COVID-19, the economy and instability all play a role in lowering sentiment, followed very closely by concerns about corruption, education levels and the availability of decent jobs.

77% are afraid of not being able to buy their own house. Three-quarters believe owning land is vital to their financial well-being.

But despite all this, 77% of Africans between the ages of 18 and 24 think their lives will improve in the next two years.

More than two-thirds are convinced that they will lead a better life than their parents. They are determined to control their own destiny. Two thirds of them will marry later than their parents, 72% intend to have fewer children.

If their governments can’t help them do it, they will, with three-quarters intending to start their own business, although access to capital remains a major obstacle for most of them.

Technology will play a major role in these start-ups, just like in their current life. Wi-Fi is considered a basic human right, but two-thirds of young Africans find it very expensive, with only 12% able to afford it every day, even though three-quarters of them spend an hour a day. day on social networks to get informed. and help determine what is fake and what is real.

They are plugged into geopolitics and see China as the most influential – and positive – actor on the continent, followed in descending order by the US, AU, EU, WTO and the Kingdom. -United.

But there is also growing negative sentiment towards China and foreign companies extracting raw materials from the continent without properly reinvesting in the countries from which they extract them. More than a third of South Africans, Ugandans and Ethiopians view foreign influence as negative.

These are just some of the highlights from the second edition of the African Youth Survey which has now taken the pulse of just under 10,000 young people since its inception in 2019.

Conceptualized and underwritten by the Ichikowitz Family Foundation, the survey remains a groundbreaking and unique barometer of the hopes, dreams and concerns of the next generation of African leaders.

As industrialist, philanthropist and foundation chairman Ivor Ichikowitz explains: “When this survey was first launched, I thought it was time to take the pulse of this group of young people because they are , like their age group in South Africa, ‘freeborn’. .

This African generation is free, not from white domination as such, but from the intergenerational burden of breaking out of the chains of centuries of colonialism.

The survey, he said, proved beyond doubt that the current cohort of young Africans were aware of the risks they faced, but aware of the things they would have to do to achieve their dreams.

“In a continent often ravaged by violence, dominated by patriarchy and divided by xenophobia, it is heartening to discover how concerned 83% of respondents are about ethnic minorities, as many still concerned about gender-based violence and 64% believing that their countries have a duty to help refugees.

But there’s still a lot of work to do when it comes to protecting the LGBTQ+ community and it’s terribly sad to read how nearly half of young people have experienced some form of identity or other discrimination.

“It is always said that Africa’s greatest resource is not its treasure of minerals, but rather the treasure of the people.

AYS 2022 confirms this – and this is great news for those who truly believe in making the African century a reality in our lifetime.

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