Half of Youths in Nigeria, Others Planning to Migrate to US, Europe—Report

June 17, 2022
planning to migrate

By Modupe Gbadeyanka

If steps are not quickly taken by African leaders, in the next three years, the continent may lose nearly half of its population between the ages of 18 and 24.

One of the biggest concerns African youth face today is instability, with 75 per cent worried about the political volatility in the continent, rising to 91 per cent in Kenya and 89 per cent in Mozambique, both of which are battling terrorist insurgencies, according to the African Youth Survey released this week.

It was stated that at least half of Africa’s youth have had their lives impacted by terror, insurgency or conflict, with 15 per cent of them having either been approached to be recruited by a terrorist organisation or know someone who has been. In Mozambique, this figure rises to 25 per cent.

Many have lost faith in their leaders. Only 40 per cent of African youth believe their governments are doing enough to the country the crisis in their countries. In Ethiopia, this drops to 20 per cent and to 16 per cent in Nigeria.

In the report, it was revealed that youths planning to migrate want to source greener pastures in South Africa, the United States and Europe. If they do move, half of them will do it permanently as they don’t intend to return home.

There are many reasons for this; education, and wanderlust, but the biggest is simply the quest for a better life that they believe is unavailable in their own countries.

The African Youth Survey was conceptualised and underwritten by the South African-based Ichikowitz Family Foundation. The survey is a unique and ground-breaking research tool that tests the sentiment of the current cohort of Africans aged between 18 and 24 every two years.

Launched in 2019 with fieldwork in 14 countries, this was extended to 16 countries when researchers returned in 2021, this time to Angola, Congo Brazzaville, DRC, Ethiopia, Gabon, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa, Sudan, Uganda, and Zambia. Researchers conducted 300 face-to-face interviews in each country, divided into three distinct geographical areas and further split into five distinct locations in each area.

Foundation chairman Ivor Ichikowitz says he is heartened by the responses in the second edition of this initiative: “The survey tells us much. It warns us, but it is also a source of great hope. In a continent that is wracked by violence, internal and external, there is a very clear sign that the next generation of people who will lead this continent is neither disempowered by nor ignorant of the hazards their countries and their continent face.

“On the contrary, these are highly motivated, highly informed and deeply committed citizens determined to ensure they have a chance at a life that was perhaps denied their parents.”

Modupe Gbadeyanka

Modupe Gbadeyanka is a fast-rising journalist with Business Post Nigeria. Her passion for journalism is amazing. She is willing to learn more with a view to becoming one of the best pen-pushers in Nigeria. Her role models are the duo of CNN's Richard Quest and Christiane Amanpour.

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