African girl Eric Lafforgue/Art in all of us/Getty Images

Le défi le plus déterminant de l’Afrique

ADDIS-ABEBA – L’Afrique abrite la plus jeune démographie de la planète, et sa population augmente rapidement. D’ici 2050, le nombre de jeunes sur le continent (les 15-24 ans) devrait être multiplié par plus de deux par rapport aux 226 millions de l’année 2015. Le continent africain demeure cependant résolument inhospitalier à l’égard des jeunes, que ce soit sur le plan politique, économique ou social. L’aboutissement des efforts fournis par les gouvernements africains pour remédier à cette problématique constituera le facteur le plus déterminant quant à la question de savoir si l’Afrique sera vouée à prospérer ou à souffrir au cours des prochaines décennies.

Le maintien du statu quo risquerait d’exposer l’Afrique non seulement à une sous-performance économique, à la fuite des cerveaux, mais également à la criminalité, à l’agitation politique et sociale, voire à des conflits armés. Le continent peut néanmoins espérer prospérer si ses gouvernements agissent dès aujourd’hui pour tirer parti de l’énergie et du dynamisme de leur jeune population florissante. Un programme global de mesures est nécessaire, composé de politiques fondées sur la réalité démographique et consistant à remédier de manière simultanée à cette exclusion politique, culturelle et économique.

Cela ne sera pas chose facile, d’autant plus qu’il existe un véritable fossé générationnel entre la population africaine, majoritairement jeune, et ses dirigeants : l’âge moyen des présidents africains s’élève à 42 ans, tandis que l’âge médian de la population du continent s’élève à 19 ans et demi. Il s’agit du plus important écart d’âge mondial entre dirigeants et gouvernés, ce qui soulève certaines interrogations quant la bonne compréhension des besoins et aspirations des jeunes chez les responsables politiques.

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