The Southern Africa Resource Watch (SARW) has challenged regional countries to enable youth to participate in key economic sectors in their countries considering that over half of Africa’s population is under the age of 30.
Last Friday was the International Youth Day. This year’s theme was “Intergenerational Solidarity: Creating a World for All Ages”.
In a statement, SARW said young people in Africa have been denied the opportunity to lead resulting in the recycling of ideas. It said:
The African continent has a high proportion of young people with 70% of its population under the age of 30, but it also has the highest rates of social challenges affecting youth.
Because of rampant ageism, youth are denied opportunities to contribute to public discourse or to seek solutions to some of the continent’s systemic challenges.
Discrimination has also resulted in youth being excluded from decision-making processes where they are underrepresented or not being consulted on issues affecting them.
In the SADC (Southern African Development Community) region, many local communities living near mining areas continue to suffer the social and environmental consequences of both large-scale and illegal mining.
These challenges are obvious to everyone, but neither older people nor the State has solutions.
This is due to a lack of intergenerational integration in government, the private sector, and, to some extent, civil society.
Young people have been denied the opportunity to lead and have been barred from positions of power because of their age hence there is a recycling of ideas across the continent.
SARW implored governments to provide services to communities and the youths, as the majority are trapped in vicious cycles of poverty, unemployment, and illiteracy.
This has resulted in generations of demotivated youth who see no way out of their difficulties, added SARW.