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
    Danielle Resnick, James Thurlow
  2. Youth Employment Prospects in Africa
    James Thurlow
  3. Cities of Youth: Post-Millennial Cases of Mobility and Sociality
    Karen Tranberg Hansen
    More Working Paper | Cities of Youth
  4. Youth in Tanzania’s Urbanizing Mining Settlements: Prospecting a Mineralized Future
    Deborah Fahy Bryceson
    More Working Paper | Youth in Tanzania’s Urbanizing Mining Settlements
  5. Young People, Agriculture and Employment in Rural Africa
    James Sumberg, Nana Akua Anyidoho, Michael Chasukwa, Blessings Chinsinga, Jennifer Leavy, Getnet Tadele, Stephen Whitfield, Joseph Awetori Yaro
    More Working Paper | Young People, Agriculture, and Employment in Rural Africa
  6. Education Policy, Vocational Training, and the Youth in Sub-Saharan Africa
    Moses Oketch
    More Working Paper | Education Policy, Vocational Training, and the Youth in Sub-Saharan Africa
  7. The Success of Learnerships :: Lessons from South Africa’s Training and Education Programme
    Neil Rankin, Gareth Roberts, Volker Schöer
    More Working Paper | The Success of Learnerships?
  8. Conclusions: Moving Beyond Conventional Wisdoms
    Danielle Resnick, James Thurlow
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