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

O desafio decisivo de África

ADIS ABEBA – África tem a população mais jovem do mundo e está a crescer rapidamente. Até 2055, espera-se que a população jovem do continente (com idades entre os 15 e os 24 anos), ultrapasse o dobro do total de 226 milhões de pessoas que existia em 2015. No entanto, o continente continua teimosamente inóspito - a nível politico, económico e social - para os jovens. O sucesso dos esforços dos governos africanos para abordar este panorama será o fator mais importante que determinará se o continente irá prosperar ou sofrer nas próximas décadas.

Uma habitual abordagem empresarial correria o risco de expor a África não só ao mau desempenho económico e a uma fuga de cérebros, mas também à criminalidade, instabilidade política e social, e até mesmo a conflitos armados. Mas África pode prosperar se os seus governos agirem agora para explorar a energia e o dinamismo da crescente população jovem. O que é necessário é uma agenda política abrangente, que inclua medidas demograficamente informadas que façam face à exclusão política, cultural e económica de forma sincronizada.

Não será nada fácil, por causa da diferença de idade enorme entre a maioria dos jovens de África e os seus líderes: a idade média de um presidente africano é de 62 anos, enquanto a média de idade da população africana é de 19,5 anos. Essa é a maior diferença de idade do mundo entre governantes e governados, e levanta preocupações sobre até que ponto os governantes entendem as necessidades e aspirações dos jovens.

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