VIOLENT conflicts are prevalent in African countries with large youth populations such as Mali, Central African Republic and Somalia. In some instances, young people contribute to the violence in these conflicts.
An article in ISS Today argues that if engaged positively, the youth can be key to reducing violence, improving security and opposing violent extremism in their countries – they are, after all, society’s most innovative and able-bodied age group.
Ensuring that African youth are leaders in peace-building processes remains a challenge, as cultural and patriarchal attitudes and religious barriers are not easily overcome.
Considering the needs and aspirations of the youth in matters of peace and security is a demographic imperative, it says.
Globally the current generation of youth is the largest in history, with as many as 1.2 billion people between the ages of 15 and 24. African youth account for 226 million (19%) of the global population. By 2030, the number of youth in Africa will have increased by 42% and by 2055 this figure is expected to have more than doubled, according to the United Nations.
Basically, African youth are on the path to ruling the world. The smart thing everyone can do is to prepare them for that stewardship.