Youth Population Facts
Kenya conducted its census in 2019. The census indicates that 75.1% of the population is youthful – below 35 years. 68.9% of this youthful population resides in the rural areas. Globally, the youth make up 16% of the population. African countries are home to some of the world’s youngest populations (aged 15 years or below). These include: Niger with 50% of its population being 15 years and below; Angola, Chad, and Mali with 48% while Uganda and Somalia have 47 %. The proportion of the world’s young people between the ages of 12-24 years living in Africa is expected to rise from 18 per cent in 2012 to 28 per cent by 2040. From these facts, it is clear the youth have an upper hand in terms of presence.
What do the Youth Feel?
- The desire to own assets is frustrated by the steps involved in getting there yet it is a reality.
- Materialism/consumerism has made many people believe that having more is equal to being happier.
- The reality sometimes does not measure up and compare with the imagination e.g. get rich quick with minimal effort. As a result, “We buy things we don’t need with money we don’t have to impress people we don’t like” – Dave Ramsey. Some youth think their seeming unhappiness stems from unrealistic expectations taught to youth by older generations.
Challenges faced by Youth
The youth are faced with many challenges, many of which arise from both within and without them. A few of these include:
- Financial incapacity
- Peer approval
- Defiant behaviours
- Peer-Pressure and Competition
- Torn between being an adult and a child
QTC Tips to the Parents/Guardians/Elders and Youth
- Learn to rise up and move on with life even after making blunders or mistakes
- Learn to be focused and have strength of character
- Know who you are and where you want to go then work towards getting there
- Parents/elders should show concern and understanding towards the teenagers and understand that they are going through a transition. They need to feel validated in their thoughts and feelings.
- Parents/guardians/elders should be vigilant and identify any change of behaviour that is abnormal (signs of depression) e.g. change in sleeping and eating patterns, declined interest in normal activities, being withdrawn and deteriorating grades in school.