African countries have had a fast and impressive growth. But the economic growth did not coincide with poverty elimination because it was not linked to the economic sectors that affect the poor. Youth unemployment has now reached alarming proportions.
The risk for riots and more social unrest is accelerated by the urbanization of the poor. Frustrated young people living people in townships are easily attracted to criminal gangs or terrorist organizations. Access st social media also make mobilization more easy.
Africa displays the fast rate of urban growth in the world. It has been estimated that African countries need to generate productive jobs for 7 to 10 million young people entering the labor force each year.
Many young people are without the requisite skills to enter the formal labor market, which has become increasingly demanding. A disturbingly high share of those who have completed primary school have difficulties with reading and writing.
The school system many places is characterized by students who are expected to be obedient, follow instructions, copy what the teacher says and memorize form the text books. Conformity is a prime virtue.
African leaders have declared 2009 – 18 “the African youth decade”. Governments have launched numerous youth employment strategies, but unemployment and underemployment continue to rise.
More and more Africans refuse to tolerate a situation that Africa is a rich continent but the majority of its people being very poor.
A recipe for instability and unrest, unless new leaders emerge and act instead of talk.