The prospects of emulating the Asian countries and harnessing the demographic dividend have excited many African leaders including in the East African Community (EAC). Yet there is still a lack of clarity on the concept and on the required investments and policies that can meet the needs of the youthful population in the region and ignite its full potential to stimulate sustainable socio-economic development. AFIDEP and its partners, with support from the East African Research Fund (EARF) and DFID, are conducting a study to understand the implications of the present and future changes to the demography of youth (15-24 years) in the four EAC countries (Tanzania, Kenya, Rwanda, and Uganda) on social services, labour force and urban planning.
The study also explores the policy actions that the four countries could adopt in order to optimise their chances of turning their youthful populations into driving forces for sustainable socioeconomic transformation through the demographic dividend. This one-year long project, which started in February 2017, draws on evidence from Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Uganda.
This study expects to mainstream gender in all aspects of the analyses. Our approach to policy uptake will aim to increase awareness of, and commitment to multi-sectoral approaches to generating traction and action towards harnessing the demographic dividend. Our content will emphasise and advance dialogue about how the demographic dividend can improve outcomes for women and youth, including greater gender equality and youth empowerment, as a core component for achieving Africa’s long term socio-economic transformation aspirations.