Does Less Engaged Mean Less Empowered? Political Participation Lags Among African Youth, Especially Women

"Engagement in the political process, an important avenue for citizen empowerment in democracies worldwide, is a critical component of the AU’s policy framework for youth empowerment in Africa. However, this analysis shows that African youth are generally less likely than their older peers to engage in various forms of political participation, including voting and civic activism. These findings are consistent with worldwide trends. Perhaps greater cause for concern is that participation levels appear to be declining, suggesting that African youth are increasingly disempowered. The persistence of gender gaps even among youth is a measure of the extent to which significantly more initiatives are required to empower young women and boost their participation – particularly in West African countries, which report the largest gaps on most indicators."