Editor’s Note: April 15, 2019
Africa’s ‘demographic time-bomb’ is ticking
April has seen two of Africa’s longest-serving rulers – Algeria’s Abdelaziz Bouteflikaand Sudan’s Omar al-Bashir – removed from office following mass protests. Their demise is unexpected, with both presiding over seemingly stable regimes until a few months ago.
It shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise.
In both countries what started as protests against their respective rulers has quickly evolved into movements calling for meaningful change. Economic stagnation has played a key role – particularly among young people.
More than 60% of Sudan’s population is thought to be under 25 years old. In Algeria one in four are under 15.
This is representative of Africa, with 60% of the continent’s population estimated to be under 25. There is much debate about whether this is an asset for, or risk to development.
The answer depends on whether the continent’s economies can meet their needs. On this there’s cause for concern.
Many are being left behind according to the Ibrahim Index of African Governance, which has warned that governments are failing to improve economic opportunities for citizens, despite a 40% increase in Africa’s GDP since 2008.
Meanwhile youth unemployment is rampant – Algeria and Sudan have estimated rates above 30%.
There are warnings that this disconnect constitutes a ‘demographic time-bomb’ of social unrest. Algeria and Sudan suggest the clock is ticking.
From The Continent
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The new head of Sudan’s military council, which last week ousted longtime president Omar al-Bashir, has promised that a transition to civilian rule in the country will happen within two years. Talks are to be held with the opposition on how to manage the process. More:Reuters
The Daily Stat
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The Global Perspective
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