Benchmarking the Role of African Youth in Transitional Justice Processes

The increasing role of African youth in political transformations and conflicts in the African continent is inevitably linked to the demographic reality that Africa is a continent of the Youth. This increasing role is also attributable to the capacity of mass mobilisation through new technology of information and communication, notably social media. In 2016, all 4 sub regional blocks of the African continent were faced with turmoil. Transitional justice processes have either remained at embryonic stages or have not yielded the minimum levels of maturity to make significant contributions to stability and prosperity. In the 2016 Fragile States Index, more than 90% of African States feature under the categories “Warning”, “Elevated Warning”, “High warning”, “Alert”, “High Alert” and “Very High Alert”. If we were to go by the Fragile States Index, most African states need transitional justice processes. The following questions then arise: Is the African Youth sufficiently involved and concerned by transitional justice processes? Do transitional justice processes have the potential to improve the social conditions of the youth or at least respond to their basic expectations? Are transitional justice processes the best avenue to handle African youth issues such as unemployment, political identity and religious radicalisation? Is there a role that young African people can play to further transitional processes as an element to avert negative impacts of multi-pronged crises that the African continent continues to endure? What could be the benchmark of such a role for the African youth? Is the African Union a conduit for resolving instabilities and conflict ridden situations impacting on African youth? Or is there merit to approach transitional justice processes with relevant reverberations on the youth in national and regional contexts? This paper will endeavour to address these non-exhaustive questions in the framework of formal and informal contexts and platforms that exist or are in the making at a continental level.