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  • The survey covered 14 countries and included more than 4,000 interviews with young people aged between 18 and 24.

    The survey covered 14 countries and included more than 4,000 interviews with young people aged between 18 and 24. | Photo: Xinhua

Published 24 February 2020
Opinion

Eighty-one percent of those surveyed say they believe technology “will change the fortunes of Africa."

Young people across Africa are overwhelmingly optimistic about their future and believe the continent is heading for success thanks to new technologies and entrepreneurship, according to the African Youth Survey 2020 released Thursday.

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The survey, conducted by the Ichikowitz Family Foundation, said that “a rising Afro-Optimism among the continent’s youth-driven by a strong sense of individual responsibility, a post-colonial mindset, entrepreneurialism, and confidence in a shared African identity.”

“Africa’s youth believe they can solve problems collaboratively, and are hopeful of fighting corruption, achieving peace and improving their personal living conditions.”

Although most of the people interviewed are unhappy with the state of their own country, almost half believe Africa is in a better state than before, and two-thirds say the continent is going through a transformative era.

The survey covered 14 countries and included more than 4,000 interviews with young people aged between 18 and 24.

Eighty-one percent of those surveyed think technology “will change the fortunes of Africa,” and 79 percent say Wi-Fi access should be a fundamental human right.

Strongly believing in technology and business, three-quarters of young people say they want to launch their own business or social enterprise within the next few years, and many have already ideas they are ready to work on if given funding.

The biggest concerns among them remain corruption, the creation of new jobs for the increasing young population (average age in Africa is under 20), peace, and security in the continent.

Ichikowitz Family Foundation chairman, Ivor Ichikowitz said “the results of the African Youth Survey are a loud wake-up call to all the Afro-sceptics.”

“We have found that youth in Africa are imbued with optimism about the future – and want to shape their own destiny. We have found a youth that refuses to shy away from the very real challenges of Africa, that is honest about what needs to be done and what their role has to be to achieve this – and they are overwhelmingly keen to make that difference,” Ichikowitz said.

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