Young People are Unlocking Africa’s Potentials

At the heart of today’s vibrant Africa, known to be the youngest continent in the world (according to forecasts, by 2030, young Africans are expected to make up 42 percent of the world’s youth and account for 75 percent of those under age 35 in Africa), lies an emerging new empowered and ambitious generation of young leaders. Sometimes, they call themselves the “cheetah generation”. Not only is this generational pillar a catalyst for change, but it once again proves that it is the continent’s indispensable backbone, paving its way to development in the direction of nation-building while concomitantly trying to overcome the barriers of the socio-political landscape.

With a projection of a continuous demographic surge by 2050, Africa’s aspirations to become a hub for leadership, know-how, and innovation start to translate into a more realistic and defined goal, sustained by its young human resource, which is playing a pivotal role in (re)defining the narrative of tomorrow’s Africa in the interconnected ever-evolving world.

When it comes to evolving trends, African youth have often proved their adaptability in strategic approach and leadership styles.

The potential of this driving force lies beyond its innovative perspectives and leveraging capacity, but rather in its determination and perseverance in taking action despite the challenges and deadlocks. Doing so only proves resilience, given the often lack of resources and support. When it comes to evolving trends, African youth have often proved their adaptability in strategic approach and leadership styles. Moreover, the young leaders possess the power to further inspire and empower, leading to fostering an environment that encourages pursuit and enables the mobilization of resources and sharing best practices, unlocking potentials, in addition to giving and amplifying the voice of the unheard.

In a globally competitive landscape, African young leaders seize the opportunity to embrace the challenges and choose to pursue the journey of this concerted effort to drive and achieve tangible growth and transformative change. Not only is this journey guided by a sense of purpose, but above all, by a philosophy grounded in passion for the common good and principles aligning with societal needs.

The urgency of such efforts lies in the calls for addressing the challenges faced not only at the local level but also a continental one (whether it is economic distress and poverty, unemployment, climate change, security, and political instability, to name a few) and further effective response to the identified needs. Active involvement in tackling such pressing critical issues not only requires commitment but equally emphasizes the necessity for accountability, proactive and balanced action based on strategic and comprehensive planning that will enable both setting and managing priorities, as well as ensuring calculated decision-making and targeted responses.

No doubt, active participation has proved to be the most effective in order to actually grasp impact. While extended beyond public debate and grassroots initiatives, the young African leaders’ efforts are being channeled towards rightfully winning seats at high-level decision-making tables, seeking to be a part of the solution and not only the debate. In this regard, many countries are still struggling with access to opportunities, underrepresentation and imbalances in participation at a governance level. However, their expression of consciousness and willingness is imperative to recognize as a vital step towards leading the charge, while according to the AU Agenda 2063“youth of Africa shall be socially, economically and politically empowered through the full implementation of the African Youth Charter”.

To conclude, the current African youth dynamic leadership landscape forges a positive agenda that holds immense promise for a more prosperous future, preparing the grounds for the next generations. While empowering youth also entails investing in capacity building, it is by recognizing their demonstrated efforts, resilience, and innovation in their pursuit of purpose that impact is achieved.

Radu Magdin is a global analyst and consultant. He is also a former prime ministerial adviser in Romania and Moldova.

Photo by Chang Duong via Unsplash.