African youth and the persistence of marginalization: Employment, politics, and prospects for change
The much heralded growth and transformation of many economies in sub-Saharan Africa over the last decade continues to receive prominent attention in academic scholarship and among policy practitioners. An apparent feature about this transformation, however, is that Africa’s youth appear to have been left out. This book by Routledge critically examines the extent and consequences of the marginalization of African youth. It questions conventional wisdoms about data trends, aspirational goals, and common policy interventions surrounding Africa’s youth that have been variously propagated in both the development studies literature and in mainstream donor policy reports. The book explores macro trends from both a temporal and cross-regional perspective in order to highlight what is distinct about contemporary African youth and whether their prospects and behaviours do actually vary from their counterparts in other regions of the world or from previous generations of African youth. Such studies include cross-country analyses of youth employment patterns and modes of political participation, in-depth examination of the behaviours and aspirations of the urban youth, and critical reflections on the impact of rural employment initiatives, vocational education, and learnership programmes. The incorporation of multiple methods and disciplines, as well as its attention to policy issues, ensures that the book will be of great interest to graduate students, researchers, and professional researchers whose work lies at the intersection of African area studies and development studies as well as those focused on development economics, political science, and public policy and administration.