n Africa Insight - Youth and poverty reduction strategy processes in sub-Saharan Africa : poverty, development and livelihoods

Volume 37, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 0256-2804


In 1999, the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) announced that developing countries must complete Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers (PRSPs) as a prerequisite for accessing concessional finance. Adopted by more than two-thirds of sub-Saharan African countries, this development policy mechanism represents a potentially significant instrument for meeting the needs of youth. This article reviews the region's PRSPs to assess youth participation in formulation processes, the representation of the relationship between poverty and youth, and the extent to which youth issues are mainstreamed into policy content. The results suggest that the youth are an under-represented constituency and that PRSPs do not yet approximate comprehensive plans to address the multiple challenges facing the youth. Despite encouraging evidence of youth participation in PRSP formulation, and recognition of the deprivation and poverty experienced by many youth, greater effort is required to carry this through into implementation, monitoring and evaluation.

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