Key recommendations: Africa’s Diverging Approaches to Youth Inclusion and Participation

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Discussions about youth have taken various forms in Africa, as this segment of the population grows exponentially, propelling government responses and policy interventions to meet the needs of young people. A coordinated response requires a shared understanding of key components such as youth participation and youth inclusion, which seem to take diverging paths in Africa. Certainly, the interpretation of these concepts may differ based on country contexts. However, it is imperative that African countries take guidance from the existing standards and codes to which they are signatories.

To adequately harness this demographic dividend, no country can run away from fully empowering its youth and creating an enabling environment for young people to be an integral part of development. African countries need to go beyond the narrow definition of participation and inclusion – characterised by the delivery of basic services by the state to young people – to rather empower and elevate youth to decision-making.

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29 Jul 2020