Unprecedented Survey Resets Global Narrative on Africa

Largest of its kind Youth Survey reveals rising Afro-Optimism and Afro-Capability driven by entrepreneurship, post-colonial mindset, digital technologies and shared African identity

  • 48% choose stable governments over democracy
  • 75% feel they positively change their communities through their work
  • 79% believe that Wi-Fi access should be a fundamental human right
  • 67% say ‘fake news’ is impacting their ability to stay informed
  • Donald Trump, Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg are the leaders who will have the greatest impact over the next five years

Nairobi: 20 February 2020. The African Youth Survey 2020 – reveals a rising Afro-Optimism among the continent’s youth, driven by a strong sense of individual responsibility. Post-colonial mindset, entrepreneurialism, and confidence in a shared African identity.

Africa’s youth believe they can solve problems collaboratively, and are hopeful of fighting corruption, achieving peace and improving their personal living conditions.

The Survey 2020 was conducted across 14 African countries in an unprecedented attempt to pulse the aspirations, motivations and viewpoints of young people in Congo Brazzaville, Ethiopia, Gabon, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Mali, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, South Africa, Togo, Zambia and Zimbabwe – a total of 4 200 in-depth, face-to-face interviews.

It revealed that, young people who are self-starters, pan-African, digital and media savvy are tolerant but mindful of the challenges that could blight their ‘African Century’, such as corruption, the lack of new jobs, limited start-up capital, water scarcity, fake news, terrorism and poor education systems.

Founder and Chairperson of BCW Africa, Robyn de Villiers, described this study as inspirational. “The Africa Youth Survey reveals the hopes, aspirations and concerns of African youth, but most importantly, it also brings to light the sheer optimism of the largest and fastest growing demographic on the continent. These insights are extremely valuable for those in the private and public sectors – anyone doing business of any kind on the continent.” She argued.

 Afro-optimism, that’s flourishing among young Africans does not rest on hope, but on their ability to seize the opportunities provided by the modern world. The findings underscore entrepreneurship as the greatest aspiration of African youth, who are embracing digital technologies to shape their futures to becoming a generation of innovative, responsible and confident leaders.