About Half Of Young Africans Would Start A Business If They Get USD 100 – And Run Social Enterprises

Ichikowitz Family Foundation

The African Youth Survey 2020 – reveals a rising Afro-Optimism among the continent’s youth driven by a strong sense of individual responsibility, a post-colonial mindset, entrepreneurialism, and confidence in a shared African identity. Africa’s youth believe they can solve problems collaboratively, and are hopeful of fighting corruption, achieving peace and improving their personal living conditions.

The results seriously challenge the old African stereotypes and cynics:

  • Optimism: African youth are overwhelmingly positive about their personal future and the African Century: 65% believe that the 21st century will be the African Century,  72% are confident about their financial future, they feel more optimistic about the future of the continent than their country’s future (63% unhappy with own country, 49% unhappy with Africa)
  • Entrepreneurship – The next African generation are entrepreneurs and self-starters who are resolute in their goals and ambitions: 76% want to start a business in the next five years, over 60% have an idea for a business or social enterprise, 75% feel they positively change their communities through their work
  • Technology – African youth are well-connected and technology and media savvy with a great interest in current affairs: 79% believe that Wi-Fi access should be a fundamental human right, 81% believe that technology will change the fortunes of Africa, 59% use their smart phones for more than three hours per day, 89% use it for social media
  • Media – Social media is the second biggest source of news (54%) after television (72%). The least trusted sources of news are Facebook (53%) and WhatsApp (50%). ‘Fake News’ is viewed as problematic: 67% saying its impacting their ability to stay informed; 25% know someone or have personally been victims of online bullying 
  • Environment: African youth are not concerned by climate change as such, but rather about more specific environmental challenges like water scarcity (86%), plastic waste (79%) and poaching of wildlife (69%)
  • Climate Change: Nearly two thirds of African youth (57%) believe that developing countries have equal responsibility to address climate change – their Afro-optimism is grounded in a belief in Afro-capability 
  • African Identity –The nation state remains a strong source for collective identity but 76% of African youth overwhelmingly agree that a shared African Identity exists, brought forth by common culture and the values epitomised by Nelson Mandela (86% believe Mandela’s values are still relevant today)
  • African Unity – Many young Africans say the continent is headed in the wrong direction and 63% call for unity to bring Africa forward, 72% believe the AU can unite Africa
  • Community Cohesion – Young people in Africa are deeply embedded in their local communities, which many describe as ethnically, religiously and economically diverse
  • Democratic Values – While African youth are divided on whether democracy (48%) or stability (48%) is more important for the continent, most believe in the democratic values of participation, tolerance and freedom, although critically, very few see a political career as a key aspiration to improving their own lives
  • Foreign Relations – African youth are conflicted in regard to foreign influence: on the one hand, many are wary of new forms of economic colonialism but at the same time most consider the influence of specific countries to be positive; the USA, China and EU have the greatest influence and Donald Trump, Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg are the leaders who will have the greatest impact over the next five years
  • Challenges: Young Africans see infectious disease and terrorism as the continent’s two biggest threats of the last five years, but the future being defined by job opportunities, innovation and entrepreneurship, and bedevilled by corruption

Download the full report

Source: Ichikowitz Family Foundation



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