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El mayor desafío para África

ADDIS ABEBA – África tiene la población más joven del mundo, y está creciendo a toda prisa. Se prevé que en 2055 los jóvenes del continente (aquellos con edades entre 15 y 24) serán más del doble de los 226 millones de 2015. Pero África sigue siendo un lugar pertinazmente inhóspito (en lo político, lo económico y lo social) para la gente joven. De que los gobiernos africanos sepan resolver esta cuestión depende la trayectoria del continente (prosperidad o penuria) en las décadas que vendrán.

Seguir el rumbo actual supone no sólo riesgo de mal desempeño económico y fuga de cerebros, sino también de criminalidad, agitación política y social, e incluso conflicto armado. Pero África puede prosperar, si los gobiernos actúan ahora para aprovechar la energía y el dinamismo de la cada vez más numerosa población joven. Para ello se necesita una agenda política integral, que incluya medidas demográficamente fundadas para resolver los problemas de exclusión política, cultural y económica en forma sincronizada.

No será tarea fácil, sobre todo porque entre las dirigencias y los jóvenes de África hay una brecha etaria enorme: la edad promedio de los presidentes africanos es 62, contra una mediana de 19,5 para el conjunto de la población africana. Es la mayor brecha etaria del mundo entre gobernantes y gobernados, y genera dudas sobre hasta qué punto las autoridades entienden las necesidades y aspiraciones de los jóvenes.

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