Governance, Security and Culture: Assessing Africa’s Youth Bulge

  • Marc Sommers Boston University


Although Africa has a youth-dominated population, African government policies are often not youth-centered and African governments and their international supporters are frequently under-informed about the priorities of most youth. Reliance on the “youth bulge and instability thesis” leads to distorted assessments of everyday realities. Examination of the lives, priorities, and cultural contexts of African youth, and the cases of youth in Rwanda and Burundi in particular, shows that the nature of relations between the state and massive populations of young, marginalized, and alienated citizens directly impacts the governance, security, and development prospects of African nations.

Author Biography

Marc Sommers, Boston University
Visiting Researcher
African Studies Center
Boston University
Focus: Youth and Violence