Covid – 19 and  African youth: Hear voices from Africa

Covid – 19 has become a talking point  for African leaders as a  grassroot organization called “Today’s Youth” organized on May 16,2020  in Ghana a teleconference meeting to discuss the aftermaths of covid – 19 on African youth and found out ways to solve some possible problems. Many people from the United States of America, Ghana, Kenya, Cameroun, and Nigeria attended the event moderated by Dr. Phanuel Seli Gakpetor and  gave  their inputs.

They all agree that coronavirus has a negative  impact on African youth  and that will last for several years.” Covid – 19 scares us, economies are thinning,  and some  are  collapsing, jobs are scarce,” Dr. Al – Hadjj Abubakari Sidick Ahmed  from Ghana said.   

One of the issues they pointed out was unemployment. “ Covid – 19 has direct and indirect consequences for African youth,” Emmanuel Abu Apenteng said. “ Youths will look for job for the next ten years to come,” he added.

According to  Mr. Emmanuel, 75% of population in Africa made up of youth. Mrs. Sidicky said that youth is an asset for the African continent. However, he warns that Africa will face a dire situation if we fail to use conveniently that asset.

Nina Womack is an artist and activist from Los Angeles. She has urged African youth  to focus on small business and more importantly on agriculture. She has refuted the idea that many youths in Africa have  an aversion to agriculture. And she has a solution: “ Let’s train, empower, and give youth a high technology,” she said.  She seems to agree with Dr. Sidick who said that “ with covid – 19  African youth  need skills instead of degrees.”

Murgure is from Kenya. She thinks that solar power can help African youth when it comes to internet as she was speaking about tele education in Africa. She then urged African youth to “fight hard for public participation and inclusion.”

Talking about technology, Mr. Sidicky said technology takes over everything. “ How Africa will compete with the rest of the world?” he asked himself. He thinks that the big issue Africa is facing is hunger. According to him, there is an equation to be solved. “What to choose?” he said.  “ Putting  food on the table or choosing technology?

 Ramatu Ahmed from New York, however,  thinks that although many people lost their job,  there is a loophole African youth can exploit. “Jobs are lost, jobs come in,” she said. “ Craft your own ways, respect each other, and be humble,” she advised.

Bazona Barnabe Bado

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