|University students in Yoff Beach, Dakar, Senegal.Hannah Reyes Morales for The New York Times|
As the world grays, Africa blooms with youth
As richer countries reckon with aging populations, Africa is experiencing what some experts call a “youthquake.” The median age on the continent is 19, a full 20 years younger than that in China and the U.S. By the 2040s, two out of every five children will be born in Africa.
“Experts say this approaching tide of humanity will push Africa to the fore of the most pressing concerns of our age, like climate change, the energy transition and migration,” Declan Walsh, who covers Africa for The Times, reports. In a new Times series, Old World, Young Africa, reporters followed young people searching for jobs. They traveled with migrant workers, spoke to people who returned from studying in China, and interviewed young people who challenged aging leaders.
“The world is changing,” Edward Paice, the author of “Youthquake: Why African Demography Should Matter to the World,” told Walsh. “And we need to start reimagining Africa’s place in it.” — Lynsey Chutel, Briefings writer based in Johannesburg