Dreams of a better tomorrow - The expectations of African youth
Day by day the youth population is increasing in Africa. Persons between 15 to 35 years make up 65% of the African population. This makes Africa the continent of youth. A youth who face many challenges.
African youth have ambitions for a better future, actually they are the future of Africa. They all have a dream for a better tomorrow. Will Africa be able to answer that dreams?
Everyone knows Africa is a continent full of natural resources like gold, diamonds, petrol, cobalt, cocoa and many more. Many African countries, particularly Sub Saharan countries have fertile land, good climate, lakes and rivers for fishing. This is a major contribution for African economy. Thus we can say in terms of natural resources Africa is the richest continent and it is also full of opportunities. Despite all of these opportunities African youth are facing many challenges which make them hopeless. Many young Africans are struggling to achieve their goals in any ways.
Many young people really want to learn, but they can’t get an education. Mostly it is parents who pay their children’s school fees. High school children sometimes work to pay their own. But no jobs means no school fees.
Another problem is that teachers don’t get paid much, so the teachers are not very good and in many countries there are untrained teachers in the job. Another problem is lack of books and materials; some schools don’t even have a library.
Developing the education and employment opportunities for African youth must therefore be a priority for all governments in Africa.
African youths face many challenges in gaining an education that provides them with the right set of skills and knowledge, which means that these young people struggle to find work and especially it is difficult to get a job in the formal segment of economy, and they end up doing odd jobs. Even if they do succeed in getting a higher education they are unable to get a job in the area they are qualified in, for example, an engineer may be working as a teacher.
Unemployment is the major challenge for African youth. After completing school hundreds of thousands of youths in the urban areas are looking for jobs while rural youths are flooding into the cities also looking for jobs.
They should encourage young Africans with training, assist them to create their own businesses and take other measure so they can contribute to reduce unemployment. Ignoring these issues results in lower economic growth ultimately resulting in other problems such as poverty, violent conflicts, human trafficking, drugs, and armed robbery, making it the biggest ambition for every youth to travel abroad or move to a western country.
African countries are lacking good governance. Politically there is no vision for tomorrow. Most of the African leaders are selfish and corrupted, they misuse government funds, they misuse government facilities. They are stubborn. And when the time comes for an election they spend a lot of money, they promise that they will do better. After the election they forget everything they promised. According to Pascal, an asylum seeker from Uganda,
“ If problems like corruption and over stay in power by African leaders and running government economy as their own bank accounts can be stopped. If they stop these things there could be a good future for Africans for example good education, good infrastructure, create jobs and many other things. Most young people in Uganda have given up when it comes to voting because they have lost trust in the electoral system due to rigging of elections.”
Many African youths are in a situation of armed conflicts. Even young children are forced to take arms in the civil war transition. They cannot go to school or to work. More often than not young Africans end up unemployed.
The wars wreaked havoc in Africa increasingly target youth . they are thrown on the roads and paths. many are forcibly recruited into armed forces and become soldier or rebels.
Youths are the most vulnerable part of the population in Africa specially in political conflicts or civil wars, the politicians manipulate young people by making false promises. This epidemic has led many youth hopeless and that drives them to seek other way out for a better future, especially in the western countries.
Many asylum seekers, have hopes for the future,
“I think I could go back, I would like to join my family again and enjoy life again,” said Pascal. Another asylum seeker, Claude, from Rwanda said,
“Yes it can change but it will take a long time. We need to heal politically & economically because we have been affected for so long. Of course I will go back one day but I don´t know when because I would like to go and contribute in the construction of my country.
But the future is in our hands and African governments must do more to make opportunities for the youth, so that they can build a prosperous future for the later generation. It is time that our leaders think about the well being of the youth and the next generation by providing resources and opportunities that can give them hope for a better future in their country . They should commit to involve young people in all areas of the development programs and initiatives on the economic, political, educational and social levels .
Young people also need to be aware of the challenges of our continent and their contribution by all means possible to build a better Africa because the future is in their hands.