n Africa Insight - Youth in Africa : participation and protection

Volume 37, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 0256-2804


Descriptions of young people are replete with antonyms, such as heroes and villains, and makers and breakers. These contrasts reflect deep ambivalence in social attitudes and actions that influence both opportunities offered to and challenges facing young people. In this introduction to the Special Issue of on Youth in Africa, we cover four topics. Firstly, we articulate tensions inherent in the concept of youth as reflected in issues related to protection of young people, on the one hand, and barriers to their participation, on the other. Secondly, we briefly outline , a framework that has evolved over the past two decades and which provides a conceptual framework for addressing youth issues in policy and programmes. Thirdly, we provide an overview of youth policy development in Africa, and we close with a description of two initiatives that have renewed the focus on young people, and especially the youth on the African continent. The first is the 2007 World Development Report , and the second is the African Youth Charter, adopted by African Union Heads of State in Banjul in July 2006.

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