Urban youth and post-conflict Africa : On policy priorities

Upphovsperson: Utas, Mats
Utgivare: Nordiska Afrikainstitutet, Conflict, Displacement and Transformation | Uppsala, Sweden
År: 2012
Språk: eng
Relation: NAI Policy Notes, 1654-6695 ; 2012/4
Identifikator: http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:nai:diva-1570
Identifikator: urn:isbn:978-91-7106-727-2
Rättigheter: info:eu-repo/semantics/openAccess
Youth in urban areas of post-war African countries lead lives that are not very different from non-post-war societies. In fact it is often hard to separate battle-hardened ex-combatants from street-hardened urban youth in general. In this context, youth is a social category of people living in volatile and dire life conditions rather than a group defined by age. It is people who are no longer children, but who have yet to become social adults, people who have been marginalized into what they see as a chronic state of youthhood. It is the number of social youth, not the number of an age-categorized “youth bulge”, that poses a danger for stability in many African countries. This way of defining youth demands special efforts and raises special concerns when international donor communities create and implement youth-specific projects in post-conflict areas. Related to that, this policy note reflects on number of issues that will help improve the results of such projects through knowing and using existing social structures, including gender relations, the problems of social elites and the advantages of utilizing already existing systems of labor training.