‘Afro-optimism’ is on the Rise among Continent’s Youth

African Woman

Now let’s end the week with a dose of optimism. Despite all the hardships endured, African youth are still hopeful and optimistic. Enjoy this article from the Guardian!


Young people across Africa are confident that the continent is heading for an era of success fuelled by technology and entrepreneurship, according to a new survey.

The Africa Youth survey, which claims to be the largest of its kind, said there is growing belief in the concept of “Afro-optimism”, fighting persistently negative stereotypes of the continent.

Though most people interviewed were dissatisfied with the state of their own country, almost half believed the continent as a whole was in a healthier state than previously, and two-thirds thought they were living through a transformative “African century”.

… “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.

The survey covered 14 countries, and included 4,200 interviews with young people aged between 18 and 24.

Map of Africa

… Those surveyed had strong opinions about the importance of technology and business, with 81% saying they believed technology could unlock the continent’s potential.

… Commenting on the report, Rosebell Kagumire, editor of the website AfricanFeminism, said … “When we see ourselves as African, as a people, and what we have achieved together and what we have survived together, that makes a better picture,” she said. “It’s a bigger picture. We are looking at African people, really thinking outside the colonial construct.”

She added, however, that the idea of Afro-optimism was often simplistic, painting a picture of “happy Africans”. …

The biggest concerns were corruption, the creation of new jobs for the continent’s booming young population, and peace and security.

Kagumire pointed out that young people were often disaffected by politics, and women, in particular, felt discriminated against in the corporate world. “Even when people are optimistic, it’s pegged to the realities.”

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