The much heralded growth and transformation of many economies in sub-Saharan Africa over the last decade continues to receive prominent attention in academic scholarship and among policy practitioners. An apparent feature about this transformation, however, is that Africa’s youth appear to have been left out. This book critically examines the extent and consequences of the marginalization of African youth. It questions conventional wisdoms about data trends, aspirational goals, and common policy interventions surrounding Africa’s youth that have been variously propagated in both the development studies literature and in mainstream donor policy reports.
The book explores macro trends from both a temporal and cross-regional perspective in order to highlight what is distinct about contemporary African youth and whether their prospects and behaviours do actually vary from their counterparts in other regions of the world or from previous generations of African youth. Such studies include cross-country analyses of youth employment patterns and modes of political participation, in-depth examination of the behaviours and aspirations of the urban youth, and critical reflections on the impact of rural employment initiatives, vocational education, and learnership programmes.
The incorporation of multiple methods and disciplines, as well as its attention to policy issues, ensures that the book will be of great interest to graduate students, researchers, and professional researchers whose work lies at the intersection of African area studies and development studies as well as those focused on development economics, political science, and public policy and administration.
1. Introduction: African Youth at a CrossroadsDanielle Resnick and James Thurlow Part 1 Cross-Country Analyses of Economic and Political Trends 2. Youth Employment Prospects in Africa James Thurlow 3. Protesting for a Better Tomorrow? Youth Mobilization in Africa Danielle Resnick Part 2 Youth Aspirations in Urban Africa 4. Cities of Youth: Post-Millennial Cases of Mobility and Sociality Karen Tranberg Hansen 5. Youth in Tanzania’s Urbanizing Mining Settlements: Prospecting a Mineralized Future Deborah Fahy Bryceson Part 3 Assessing Extant Policy Options for Improving Youth Employment 6. Young People, Agriculture and Employment in Rural Africa James Sumberg, Nana Akua Anyidoho, Michael Chasukwa, Blessings Chinsinga, Jennifer Leavy, Getnet Tadele, Stephen Whitfield, and Joseph Yaro 7. Education Policy, Vocational Training, and the Youth in Sub-Saharan Africa Moses Oketch 8. The Success of Learnerships: Lessons from South Africa’s Training and Education ProgrammeNeil Rankin, Gareth Roberts, and Volker Schöer 9. Conclusions: Moving Beyond Conventional Wisdoms Danielle Resnick and James Thurlow
The series features innovative and original research on African development from scholars both within and outside of Africa. It particularly promotes comparative and interdisciplinary research targeted at a global readership.
In terms of theory and method, rather than basing itself on any one orthodoxy, the series draws broadly on the tool kit of the social sciences in general, emphasizing comparison, the analysis of the structure and processes, and the application of qualitative and quantitative methods.
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