African Youth and the Persistence of Marginalization
Employment, politics, and prospects for change
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.
Table of Contents
1. Introduction: African Youth at a Crossroads Part 1 Cross-Country Analyses of Economic and Political Trends 2. Youth Employment Prospects in Africa 3. Protesting for a Better Tomorrow? Youth Mobilization in Africa Part 2 Youth Aspirations in Urban Africa 4. Cities of Youth: Post-Millennial Cases of Mobility and Sociality 5. Youth in Tanzania’s Urbanizing Mining Settlements: Prospecting a Mineralized Future Part 3 Assessing Extant Policy Options for Improving Youth Employment 6. Young People, Agriculture and Employment in Rural Africa 7. Education Policy, Vocational Training, and the Youth in Sub-Saharan Africa 8. The Success of Learnerships: Lessons from South Africa’s Training and Education Programme 9. Conclusions: Moving Beyond Conventional Wisdoms
Danielle Resnick is a Research Fellow in the Development Strategies and Governance Division at the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), USA.
James Thurlow is a Senior Research Fellow in the Development Strategies and Governance Division at the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), USA.
UNU World Institute for Development Economics Research (UNU-WIDER) was established by the United Nations University as its first research and training centre and started work in Helsinki, Finland, in 1985. The Institute undertakes applied research and policy analysis on structural changes affecting the developing and transitional economies, provides a forum for the advocacy of policies leading to robust, equitable and environmentally sustainable growth, and promotes capacity strengthening and training in the field of economic and social policy-making. Its work is carried out by staff researchers and visiting scholars in Helsinki and through networks of collaborating scholars and institutions around the world.
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