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 has been commissioned by the UK Department for International Development (DFID), through the East African Research Fund (EARF). The lead implementing partner is the African Institute for Development Policy, which has extensive experience in supporting governments across Africa in developing demographic dividend profiles and roadmaps for determining policy actions to enable counties move from the evidence to practical actions to enable them harness the dividend. Other implementing partners are the Department of Social Statistics at the University of Southampton (UK) and experts drawn from each of the four countries. The project will also establish collaborative partnerships with relevant ministries and agencies that coordinate population and development activities and youth development issues in the four countries to ensure that the project addresses relevant policy evidence gaps.