International Year of Youth - Regional Overview - Youth in Africa

Published on


Africa is the world’s youngest continent, as the proportion of youth among the region’s total population is higher than in any other continent. In 2010, 70 percent of the region’s population was under the age of 30, and slightly more than 20 per cent were young people between the ages of 15 to 24. The socioeconomic conditions of young Africans have improved in recent years, but not considerably. There has been an increase in school enrolment over the past 20 years, and the gender gap in education has narrowed, however, young Africans continue to face major difficulties in the realms of higher education, employment, health, and participation in decision-making processes. African youth have the potential to be a great impetus for Africa’s development, provided that appropriate investments in health and human capital are made. However, if youth issues are not addressed, and if high rates of youth unemployment and under-employment persist, Africa’s development could be negatively affected.

Available languages