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Africa's younger generation's participation in politics is declining - Study

Afrobarometer study found youth is less likely to engage in activities like voting and civic activism.

Geraldo van Wyk, 20, Shimenay Meerka, 19, Chivnarice Adams, 18 and Nicole van Tonder, 19, are some youths in Carnarvon who say it is a waste of time voting. Picture: Thomas Holder/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - Research organisation Afrobarometer has found the younger generation's political and civil participation in Africa is declining.

The organisation gathered data from 54,000 young people between the ages of 18 and 35.

The findings were recently released in commemoration of International Youth Day.

The Afrobarometer study, conducted in 36 African countries, found the younger generation is less likely to engage in civic activities like voting and attending community meetings.

The study has also revealed young women in particular are less likely to engage in political activism on the continent.

Afrobarometer spokesperson Sibusiso Nkomo said, "Engagement in the political process by the youth is important in Parliament and democracies worldwide. African youth are less likely to engage in political activities including voting and civic activism."

Nkomo has expressed concern, the lack of participation will result in the younger generation becoming less empowered.

He adds governments and development partners across the continent have a lot of work to do to enhance youth participation and empowerment.