The Mo Ibrahim Foundation has shared its first Now Generation Network Survey findings on the impact of Covid-19, focusing on youth perspectives on the challenges Africa faces as a direct result of the contagion.
Development Diaries learnt that the report titled ‘Covid-19 in Africa: what does it mean for young people?’ provided specific insights into the views of young people in areas including government responses to the crisis; access to adequate healthcare; the availability of reliable information; and the continent’s prospects for the future.
The report shared insights on how young Africans perceive this crisis, drawing on views from 143 members of the foundation’s Now Generation Network (NGN) – a group of young and mid-level career African citizens from various sectors and disciplines – covering 35 African countries.
Chair and Founder of the Mo Ibrahim Foundation, Mo Ibrahim, said, ‘It is encouraging to see this cautious optimism from our young people, who account for almost 60 percent of Africa’s population. I share their optimism and hope that, through sound governance, countries manage this crisis and move closer towards their social and economic goals. Decision making must include our continent’s greatest asset, its young people, now more than ever’.
The report highlighted that the economic uncertainty caused by Covid-19 was perceived to be the biggest threat to Africa’s future and it would require close attention from governments in months to come.
Also, it noted that respondents showcased significant alarm around reduced civic participation. With nearly all respondents raising concerns around prohibitive government policies on Covid-19 negatively impacting human rights or restricting civil liberties.
It was added that Africa’s younger population showed increasing concern around a crisis- generated gender-based issues. However, respondents called for gendered economic and social policies.
It was observed that information on Covid-19 was overwhelmingly perceived to be reliable. The survey showed that information was largely consumed online, with Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram being the main sources of information noted. This is followed by TV, online news, and messaging apps.
On International responses to Covid-19, it was noted that respondents praised the efforts of Africa’s regional institutions.
It was noted, also, that young people in Africa participated actively in the response to Covid-19 pandemic. The report noted that while some of them acted in a collective group to support the response to the pandemic, others were making face masks.
Finally, the report stated that many of the respondents remained cautiously optimistic for the future, with a majority considering the current crisis as an opportunity to alter the current growth model.
Photo source: Mo Ibrahim Foundation