Africa’s youth need skills to be well-functioning adults – Chinganya

The United Nations predicts that, Africa’s youthful population would increase by 42 per cent by 2030 from 19 per cent in 2015.

According to recent UN statistics, there were 1.2 billion young people aged 15-24 years globally in 2015, comprising nearly 30 per cent of the world’s population.  Approximately 226 million of these young people live in Africa, making the continent the most youthful in the world. Children under age 15 accounted for 41 per cent of the population in Africa and young persons aged 15 to 24 accounted for a further 19 per cent.  By 2030, the target date for the sustainable development goals, it is projected that the number of youth in Africa will increase by 42 per cent to 321 million.

Africa’s youth, therefore need to have the necessary skills that equip them to grow into well-functioning adults, says Oliver Chinganya, the Director of the Economic Commission for Africa’s (ECA) African Centre for Statistics.

He added that, training in life skills is critical in ensuring that the youth have an adaptive and positive behaviour to their everyday life – according to a press release copied to

“You are growing up in an era where there are many influencers around, the most common being the social media and the internet. I hope this training touches on how you can use these to your benefit and not detriment,” Chinganya is quoted to have said at the beginning of a life skills training programme for the youth in Ethiopia.

According to the UN, youths around the world can be a positive force for development, when provided with the knowledge and opportunities they need to thrive.

It adds that, young people should acquire the education and skills needed to contribute in a productive environment.

Like the UN, Chinganya adds that, Africa’s youth are an important vehicle that should be harnessed to ensure the continent achieves sustainable development.

“Let us all work for a 21st century that will see the full empowerment through education, skills, health and civil participation of youth, with a focus on your health, decision-making, economic empowerment and opportunities. As youth, you can claim the 21st century through life skills and make the world a better place for all. Please practice what you will have learnt here because you are the tomorrow and the future,” Mr. Chinganya was again quoted to have said at the programme.

By Gifty Danso

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