Youth in Sub-Saharan countries says failed fight on corruption and unemployment are the biggest failures by their governments, according to the latest poll by Geopoll.
The poll reveals that Ghana, Kenya and Uganda lead in as far as failure by governments to tackle corruption and unemployment. This means President Yoweri Museveni’s government must address the above challenges with urgency if the regime is to survive the youth onslaught.
It is worth noting that at 1.5 billion, today’s global youth (aged 15 to 34 years old) is the largest in history. They are driving changes in economic opportunities, development, and, increasingly, political systems. To better understand youth perceptions of their role in civic and political processes, Geopoll polled 3,300 youth across five sub-Saharan countries: Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, and Uganda.
In these countries, youth account for 55, 60, 60, 53 and 68 percent of the adult population over 15 years old, respectively
GeoPoll found that despite an active and engaged youth, youth question the accountability of their governments and the role in which they can take as political participants. They do, however, identify and value governance—whether it manifests in service delivery, free speech, or voting.
When asked to identify the biggest failure of the current government, nearly half of all participants identified corruption.
“This was identified as the primary concern in Ghana, Kenya, and Uganda; and the second biggest issue in Nigeria and South Africa, where respondents chose unemployment as a larger concern,” the poll reads in part.
When further asked if the government represents the interest of one’s community, only one-third of respondents said “no” across all countries.
Despite these concerns, youth are civically active—exercising free speech and actively participating in democratic processes. Compared to other media sources, the top choice for the daily news source for youth respondents was social media (33 percent), aside from Kenya and Ghana where TV and Radio were more popular. Two-thirds of respondents noted that they post political opinions and viewpoints on social media.
Combining all 5 countries, 90 percent stated they were registered to vote and 71 percent noted that they voted in both the last national and local elections. Sixty percent noted they are affiliated with a specific political party, with 75 percent in South Africa.
Approximately 37 percent of respondents in Kenya and 32 percent in Uganda reported that they considered infrastructure improvements an achievement, more than twice the other three countries.