Africa: the youngest continent...But?
In May, a meeting was held in Rome, organized by the Union of General Superiors (UGS) of all catholic religious congregations. The main topic was about Youth as a preparation to the coming Synod of bishops in October. Our General superior, Fr. Fernando Gracia, sx attended the meeting. Here are some useful data he retained from the talk of Prof. Mesa on the topic: “The Youth in the intercultural world of today”.
- 1. Young people in the world: demographic point of view
- According to the UN report, in 2015 the young people between 15 and 24 are 1.194.500.000. This category forms the16% of the world population which is estimated of about 7.383.000.000.
- 6 out of 10 of these youth are in Asia; 2 out of 10 in Africa, the youngest continent.
- Almost 1 youth out of 10 is in Latin America;
- The youth of North America, Oceania and Europe are less than 1 out of 10 of the total.
- In Europe the population over 24 is more than 73%. In Asia and Latin America, the population over 24 is above 50%,
- In Africa only 4 habitants out of 10 are older than 24, 2 out of 10 are between 15 -24 years old and 4 out of 10 are less than 14 years old.
In these geographic areas the youth represent a great reservoir of energy and vitality that can become a destructive force if they are not properly oriented through processes of participation to social, economic and cultural life; concludes professor Mesa.
- 2. The “but” of the African continent
- Africa is the youngest continent in the world.
- The socio-economic conditions of the African Youth have improved in these last years, but not continually.
- There has been an improvement in basic education.
- It is still difficult to access to secondary and high education, jobs and medical facilities.
- There is low participation in decision making on both national and local levels
- There is a consistent presence of migrations both internal and international because of conflicts and lack of opportunities.
 The full text is published in Italian and can be found here: htts//missionarisaveriani.org/dg. The translation from Italian to English is done by Fr. Vicent Munari, sx.