Nearly half of Africa’s population between the ages of 18 and 24 are considering moving to another country in the next three years, according to African Youth Survey (AYS) 2022.
In Nigeria and Sudan, the AYS 2022 shows it’s three quarters of the youth and in Angola and Malawi its two thirds.
If they do move, half of them will do it permanently. They don’t intend to return home. Their most popular destination will be South Africa, followed by Europe and the US.
There are many reasons for this; education, wanderlust, but the biggest is simply the quest for a better life that they believe is unavailable in their own countries.
The biggest concern that African youth have today is instability. 75% are concerned about the political volatility in the continent, rising to 91% and in Kenya and 89% in Mozambique, both of which are battling terrorist insurgencies.
At least half of Africa’s youth have had their lives impacted by terror, insurgency or conflict. 15% of them have either been approached to be recruited by a terrorist organisation or know someone who has been. In Mozambique, this figure rises to 25%.
Many have lost faith in their leaders. Only 40% of African youth believe their governments are doing enough to country the crisis in their countries. In Ethiopia, this drops to 20% and in Nigeria, 16%.
These are just some of the statistics from the second edition of the African Youth Survey, being released worldwide today.
Conceptualised and underwritten by the South African based Ichikowitz Family Foundation, the survey is a unique and ground-breaking research tool that tests the sentiment of the current cohort of Africans aged between 18 and 24 every two years.
Launched in 2019 with fieldwork in 14 countries, this was extended to 16 countries when researchers returned in 2021, this time to Angola, Congo Brazzaville, DRC, Ethiopia, Gabon, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa, Sudan, Uganda, and Zambia. Researchers conducted 300 face-to-face interviews in each country, divided into three distinct geographical areas and further split into five distinct locations in each area.
Foundation chairman Ivor Ichikowitz says he is heartened by the responses in the second edition of this initiative: “The survey tells us much. It warns us, but it is also a source of great hope. In a continent that is wracked by violence, internal and external, there is a very clear sign that the next generation of people who will lead this continent is neither disempowered by nor ignorant of the hazards their countries and their continent face.
“On the contrary, these are highly motivated, highly informed and deeply committed citizens determined to ensure they have a chance at a life that was perhaps denied their parents.”