New African is as soon as once more proud to be related to the Ichikowitz Household Basis’s African Youth Survey. This distinctive polling of the opinions, hopes and fears of Africa’s youth is a useful information and gear for the continent’s planners and leaders as they attempt to make sense of the present instances and chart out programs for the longer term. Report by Anver Versi.
The Ichikowitz Household Basis’s second African Youth Survey, following on from the primary version in 2020, comes at precisely the fitting time as Africa begins the sluggish restoration from the consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic and all its ramifications.
A terrific deal has occurred between the 2 surveys – other than the Covid pandemic and the ensuing financial shutdowns, which led to very appreciable lack of revenue and alternative, there was the worldwide political turmoil, the local weather disaster, the spontaneous uprisings towards authority, the rise of politically motivated violence, and a rising dissatisfaction with institution governance and lack of imaginative and prescient on the nationwide management degree.
Younger Africans’ reactions to those developments are completely captured by the survey, which comes up with many sobering insights – for instance, though optimism for the longer term has declined significantly for the reason that final survey, younger individuals haven’t sunk into despair. As a substitute, they appear decided to form the longer term via their very own efforts and open up totally different paths to incomes their dwelling. Whereas their confidence within the older era to search out options has declined, their confidence in their very own talents has not.
This can be a very encouraging signal and exhibits that Africa’s youth has now developed highly effective wings and is ready to fly off by itself and carve out a a lot better future for itself.
Survey polling was carried out in 15 African nations – Angola, Congo Brazzaville,Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Ethiopia, Gabon, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa, Sudan, Uganda, and Zambia – in every of which 300 younger individuals, on a strict 50:50 gender foundation, have been requested their views on the ten subjects. Forty p.c of these surveyed stated they have been college students.
“Now we have now interviewed just below 10,000 younger Africans in two separate surveys,” says Ivor Ichikowitz, chairman of the inspiration.
— Ichikowitzfoundation (@Ichikowitz) July 5, 2022
An correct reflection of how the youth see their world
Over the previous few years, sitting at my editor’s desk, I’ve come throughout an excessive amount of dialogue about Africa’s ‘youth bulge’ and all types of theories about what this implies and learn how to deal with it; however very hardly ever have I heard from the youth themselves. This survey, like its predecessor, does simply that. It precisely displays how the youth see their world and their place in it.
It additionally exhibits that many perceptions about younger Africa, typically arrived at from little greater than disjointed fragments of knowledge or the slim projections of observers, are effectively off the mark and bear little resemblance to the fact.
“The entire intention of this train,” writes Ichikowitz in a foreword to the survey, “isn’t just about altering perceptions although, it’s about giving African nations the instruments to know their future leaders. Once they do this, they’ll develop the facility to resolve their very own issues.”
In a visitor foreword, Kgalema Motlanthe, former President of the Republic of South Africa, says that whereas there’s a actual perception that this can be Africa’s century, “it is not going to be the elders of this continent that do it, however the generations that come after, particularly an important cohort of all – the 18 to 24-year-olds – since they’re the leaders in ready. What do they assume? What do they want? Most, importantly, how do they really feel? Because of the second version of the African Youth Survey, we all know the solutions to those urgent points.”
The African Youth Survey 2022 is as soon as once more introduced with its distinctive mixture of eye-catching graphics and knowledgeable however pithy commentary. It’s subdivided into 10 areas of concern for African youth, like Afro-optimism, connectivity and media, atmosphere, security and safety, employment, overseas relations and so forth.
Every section discusses the problems inside it exhaustively. For instance, the section on overseas relations appears on the relative affect of overseas powers on Africa, debates whether or not China’s affect is constructive or adverse and even discusses the continent’s relations with the US, contrasting views on the management underneath Donald Trump and Joe Biden.
It rounds the part off with a really attention-grabbing verdict by younger Africans on the extent of belief that they’ve in their very own management – and maybe it comes as no shock that they see their elected officers because the least reliable of all leaders.
The segments are bookended with essays from quite a lot of individuals who every present a deeper delve into the topic. I used to be honoured to be invited to contribute to the section on ‘Connectivity and media’, which discusses the significance not solely of the cell phone as a method of communication but additionally makes the case for common entry to the web as a human proper. It examines the rising significance of e-commerce within the financial combine, how the youth get their details about the world round them, which sources they belief and which they’re suspicious of, the facility of the social media and the menace of pretend information.
I observe: “The problem has been learn how to incorporate the most effective of conventional media with its checks and balances with the digital supply and consumption system. There may be little doubt that except this pleased medium may be reached, the longer term can be characterised by chaos and an unchecked and typically violent conflict of concepts all beamed on the younger world of tomorrow.
“It was with aid that I discovered that almost all of African youth think about conventional native and worldwide information retailers as probably the most reliable and though they fairly often seek the advice of Fb for information content material, they discover it least reliable.”
It is rather encouraging to find that in a world that appears to be discovering it an increasing number of troublesome to differentiate between what’s true and what’s false, African youth, based on the Reuters Institute at Oxford College, “exhibits the very best ranges of concern of all areas, with greater than three quarters (78%) expressing concern over misinformation.” It signifies that it isn’t and hopefully is not going to be straightforward to idiot an African!
The essayists embrace: Chido Cleopatra Mpemba, Particular Envoy of Youth, Cupboard of the Chairperson, the African Union Fee; Belvin Tawuya, Chief Advertising and marketing and Communications Officer on the Africa Centre in London; Ineza Umuhoza Grace, CEO of The Inexperienced Fighter, a youth-led environmental NGO working in Rwanda; Dr Richard Munang, the Africa Regional Local weather Change Coordinator at UNEP; and Masa Mara (Eli Gold), a Rwandan-born designer and visible artist, amongst others.
The survey is filled with little gems of knowledge, every of which may be teased out for full-length discussions at numerous ranges in numerous establishments. The content material is pretty tightly packed and I discovered that the extra I visited the survey, the extra info I found. Whereas it is extremely nice to leaf via, you realise that it’s designed as a sensible instrument to assist planners and resolution makers – and supplies a sobering perception for politicians, who could need to pay a great deal of consideration to what the youth thinks of them.
The African Youth Survey 2022 is in essence a tribute to the significance of the continent’s younger individuals. As Ichikowitz says in his foreword: “So lots of Africa’s youth right this moment are marginalised. I hope this survey proves to them that somebody is listening to their issues and by sharing their desires publicly, offers them hope.
“It’s about telling them that the desires they dare to dream for themselves aren’t distinctive, as a result of so many others throughout Africa share the identical hopes and the identical fears. I hope this survey will give them the boldness to proceed on the journeys that so many have begun, to unlock their very own promise.”