Assessing the Impact of COVID-19 on Youth: Lessons for the Lockdown Generation

The Southern African Development Community (SADC) region is made up of 16 States: Angola, Botswana, Comoros, Democratic Republic of Congo, Kingdom of Eswatini, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, South Africa, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Among the different regional institutions which are present throughout the continent, the SADC is one of the biggest when it comes to the number of member states, their number of inhabitants and GDP. Like other regions of the globe, the SADC nations are being impacted by Covid 19 regardless of the global pandemic’s quite late arrival in Africa. The Southern African governments have adopted numerous stances to handling its impacts, with different extent of success. This research report focuses upon the young people and Covid 19. Intensifying the voice of the youth during this difficult time remains critical given that the younger generation makes up nearly 40% of the SADC population. Although half of the youth could potentially be unemployed in Southern Africa, over half of the workforce engages in the informal economy, from which youth, in particular females account for nearly 70%. Moreover, it is expected that by 2050 Africa shall have the highest proportion of youth across the world. Youth are equally or more at risk to the impacts of Covid 19. As we envisage a post-pandemic era, the work of youth shall be required to recover and build a more resilient world. Hence, investing in young people is investing the future of Southern Africa.