Under the hashtag #AfricaNot4Sale, the roundtable’s core message is that African political leaders and big business must stop selling the future of the continent’s youth and start promoting alternative growth models rooted in youth empowerment, human development and human rights.
“The youth of Africa have long been side-lined in discussions and initiatives relating to the development of their own continent. They have watched as the spoils of Africa have been divided and shared amongst multinational companies with the approval of their governments – and they have felt too powerless and, in many cases, too disinterested to intervene.
“Dispossessed and disempowered youths are saying #AfricaNot4Sale,” said Simphiwe Dana, the award-winning South African Afro-soul singer and campaigner for social and economic justice, who is an #AfricaNot4Sale ambassador.
Using data from the African Development Bank, the World Bank, Population Reference Bureau and the UN, Mail & Guardian Africahas developed an Africa Teenagers Ranking of the five best and worst countries to be a teenager in Africa today:
5 best places to be a teenager in Africa
96% of Algerian teens attend secondary school, and a quarter of college-age youth are enrolled in tertiary education, one of the highest rates in Africa. Algeria also has a very low child marriage rate, just 2% of girls are married by age 18.
#4: South Africa
Egyptian teens are highly engaged in civic and public life. More than a third of college-age youth are enrolled in tertiary education. However, the economy struggles to absorb them into the labour market: 39% of 15-24 year olds are unemployed and looking for a job, one of the highest in Africa.
5 worst places to be a teenager in Africa
Niger has a shockingly high rate of child marriage 36% of girls are married before age 15. By the time a girl is 18 years old, she has a three in four chance of already being married.
#3: CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC