In my role as representative for Africa I stand primarily for the mediation and perception of a realistic image of the lives in the different regions of the African continent. Besides economical and cultural topics, I especially deal with the position and importance of the African youth. In my blog „With Jeanne across Africa“, I ask myself as well as the local people – and therefore also my readers – again and again fundamental questions in this context: What is Africa’s motivation at the beginning of the 21st century? How do we perceive it? What does the future bring for the continent and what are the prejudices Africa is faced with? And: How strong is the young generation?
Africa in the 21st century is coined by the power and the goals of the young generation. First and foremost, the youth wants to be an active part in decision making processes affecting their society and it is ready to start an upheaval of the existing structures. The power and abilities to achieve this are definitely there.
After all, 60 percent of the 1.1 billion Africans on earth’s „youngest continent“ are young people under the age of 30 – all of them with their unique hopes, visions, talents and potentials. The mere idea of how much possibilities this brings for the development of better useable economical structures on the continent is simply impressive. By implication, however, this also means: If Africa’s youth isn’t perceived sufficiently and supported sincerely; many possible potentials remain unused and will probably be lost for the continent.
Because young people, whose hopes and talents aren’t developed in their home countries, will be looking for alternatives. More and more often as economical refugees – with only little resources, but big hopes – all the way to Europe. Despite or especially because of this, I believe in the great future potential of Africa.
Education, recognition, communication on a geopolitical eye level and economical support for self-help give these young people power and motivation for making their dreams come true even in their own countries. When I meet those local teenagers, I experience again and again their strong determination to really and effectively change their continent towards a better future.
These young people certainly need help and support on their way to lead an independent life. This surely works best by investing in education. When we give the teenagers more possibilities for education in their home countries, it is most likely that the critical refugee issue will decrease again. Because they would get a real chance to build the fundaments for a better future – even economically – in their home countries. This would surely motivate many young people again to stay in their home countries and bring forward the development of the African continent with pride and dignity.
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