By 2030, young Africans are expected to make up 42 percent of the world’s youth and account for 75 percent of the those under age 35 in Africa. With such a large population of young people, supportive policies and programs on inclusive youth development are critical now more than ever. Harnessing the demographic dividend and expanding opportunities for young people—to the benefit of all Africans—will require sound data and evidence on the status of African youth.

Recognizing this need, the African Union Commission (AUC) has worked to build an evidence base of youth-specific data across a wide range of sectors to assist policymakers to make targeted investments and design effective interventions for young Africans. PRB has partnered with the AUC to create a policy brief focused on regional and continental findings on youth development in Africa to spark discussion among youth advocates and policymakers alike.

The policy brief examines inclusive youth development in Africa through the four pillars and enabling environment of the African Union Demographic Dividend (AUDD) Roadmap, which identifies key areas for increasing investments in youth, driving policy change, and setting member countries on a path towards a prosperous future. Using indicators selected and analyzed by teams of African youth researchers, the brief examines obstacles and opportunities facing African youth today. It calls for innovative, multisectoral approaches that holistically address youth experiences—across the employment, education, health, and governance sectors. The brief aims to make the case for evidence-based investments in young people and guide resource allocation across the continent.