Across Africa, young people feel marginalised, left out, and convinced that their concerns about social and economic exclusion aren’t taken seriously by state actors. Facing this challenge, some youths, particularly those in conflict and post-conflict countries, have turned to crimes, prostitution and self- radicalisation as an alternative means of survival.
Our experience shows that the motivations to engage in these activities extend beyond the needs of employment to a broader frustration with the social structures, discrimination, and the demands for respect and recognition. While the vast majority of young people do not engage in violent acts, the lack of opportunity amid plenty has become a source of frustration that breeds a feeling of injustice, and grievances that increase the risk of violent conflict in fragile society.
The Center for Peace and Violence Prevention recognises youth empowerment as an essential tool for violence prevention and peace-building. As such, we support vulnerable youth to acquire the skills they need for today’s – and tomorrow’s – labour market.