Sunday, May 26, 2024

International Youth Day: Weaker political engagement spells trouble for youth empowerment

Political and civic engagement by African youth is declining and is particularly weak among young women, according to new Afrobarometer survey findings.

The findings, which were released on International Youth Day 2016 (August 12), show African youth are less likely than their elders to engage in a variety of political and civic activities, including voting, attending community meetings, joining others to raise an issue, and contacting leaders. Young women express significantly less interest in public affairs than young men.

The gap between African Youth Decade aspirations and the reality of youth engagement suggests that governments and development partners have considerable work to do to achieve the goals of increased youth participation and empowerment, especially for young women.

Titled “Does less engaged mean less empowered? Political participation lags among African youth, especially women” (Policy Paper No. 34 ), the report is based on nearly 54,000 interviews in 36 African countries in 2014/2015. It is available in English and French at

The launch took place at Constitution Hill in Johannesburg, South Africa. 


Read this week's paper