My latest article for urb.im looks at youth unemployment in Malawi. With half of the country’s population below 18 and a fifth in the age bracket 15-24, the lack of decent jobs for young people is increasingly a problem. Read the full article here and join the discussion!
The latest Urban Talks even took place last night at Crossroads Hotel in Lilongwe. Sponsored by UN-Habitat and organised by the Urban Research Institute, the public debate took on the topics of inequality, women, and youth in the city. On the panel were Pamela Mkwanda, UN Women; Harvey Chimaliro, Concerned Youth Organisation; Maggie Banda, Women Legal Resource Center; Justin Saidi, Principal Secretary Ministry of Youth Development and Sports; and Annie Chinoko-Soko, a community leader from Mtandire settlement.
The debate focused on lack of employment opportunities for youth, and challenges in accessing quality education facing both boys and girls, but girls to a larger degree. Panelists also spoke about the many challenges facing women in the city, including access to water, adequate housing, and safe and affordable transportation. Given the upcoming tripartite elections in May, women’s participation in political processes and indeed standing for elections also came up, with panelists noting that cultural conservatism discourages women from entering the political arena. The debate was broadcast live on Zodiak radio.
Interesting piece by Marika Griehsel in the Swedish magazine OmVärlden. Griehsel writes about her recent visit to Namibia, and how the country may really be in the process of graduating out of the low income country group into a more middle income status. However, should it be successful, she maintains, Namibia may feel quite alone in the group: a number of other African countries – including some the newly christened ‘Lion Economies’ – are turning increasingly inward, with mounting oppression of unwanted voices. Griehsel is no dreamer; she sees things for what they are – it is clear that the path towards a sustainable and equitable future for Africa may consequently be on the verge of being lost. But she has hope. She has hope in the youth of Africa, to organise and act to depose self-indulging and oppressive elites, and bring change.
I hope she is right.