News / Africa

Rising Youth Unemployment Endangers Africa's Stability

Rising Youth Unemployment Endangers Africa's Stabilityi
|| 0:00:00
X
Anne Look
July 11, 2012
Economists say job creation is not keeping pace with rapid population growth in African countries - posing a serious threat to future stability. Unemployment, particularly among young men, is a key driver of civil unrest, political violence, criminality and armed rebellion. VOA's Anne Look has this report from Dakar.
TEXT SIZE - +
Anne Look
DAKAR — Economists say job creation is not keeping pace with rapid population growth in African countries - posing a serious threat to future stability. Unemployment, particularly among young men, is a key driver of civil unrest, political violence, criminality and armed rebellion.

One example is Ahmet Toure of Senegal who has never had a job. Toure makes his living buying second-hand jeans from flea markets around Dakar. Toure repairs and retailors them to sell them for a profit, usually about $2 to $3 a pair.

"Sometimes I wake up and I say today's not going to be a good day," said Toure.  "I'm not going to have any money because I rely on my merchandise to survive. I can't hold out my hand and ask for my money. That is not me. So, I just tell myself, ok, no problem, I'm going to try to deal with this. Maybe, one day, things will get better."

He once dreamed of being an architect, but dropped out after high school 12 years ago to help his family. He, like hundreds of thousands of other Senegalese, makes his living in the informal sector.
 
Unemployment rates in Senegal hover around 40 percent.
 
In the crowded, low-income suburbs of Dakar, young men gather for endless rounds of tea and conversation. "Everyday is Sunday" is a joke too common and too real to be funny.
 
Earlier this year, scores of angry youths took to the streets in what became violent anti-government protests ahead of the presidential election. The unrest killed at least six people and shook this traditionally peaceful democracy.
 
Senegal has weathered the storm for now.  But the new government, and governments around the region, face intense pressure to create jobs for young people.
 
Africa has the youngest population in the world, and its ranks are growing. The number of Africans aged 15 to 24 is set to double to 400 million by 2045.
 
The African Development Bank and the U.N. predict the current rate of job creation, already insufficient, will not keep pace with the population boom and this next generation of Africans will struggle to find work.   
 
It's a dangerous prospect. The World Bank has found that one in two young people who join rebel movements cite unemployment as their main motivation.
 
In West Africa, unemployment fuels political violence and recruitment into armed groups, including the Islamist extremist movements in the Sahel.
 
Economists say Africa is currently experiencing "jobless" economic growth, and it's more than a security risk. It's a waste, they say, of the continent's most valuable resource: its young people.

You May Like

Multimedia Relatives of South Korean Ferry Victims Fire at Authorities

46 people are confirmed dead, but some 250 remain trapped inside sunken ferry More

War Legacy Haunts Vietnam, US Relations

$84 million project aims to clean up soil contaminated by Agent Orange More

Wikipedia Proves Useful for Tracking Flu

Technique gave better results than Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Google’s Flu Trends More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politicsi
X
Michael Eckels
April 19, 2014
There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politics

There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
AppleAndroid