tv Global Questions BBC News April 18, 2021 4:30pm-5:01pm BST
africa has the youngest population of any continent in the world, with an average age ofjust 19. but is a lack ofjobs for young people threatening its future stability? that's the subject of this week's global questions. hello, welcome to global questions with me, zeinab badawi. africa has the youngest population on earth. the average age on the continent is 19. yet many young people don't have a decent education or properjob and are worried about theirfuture. that's global questions: is africa failing its youth? well, to bring you this edition of global questions, our two
panelists and our questioners join us via video link. let me tell you who's in the hot seat this week, giving the answers. graca machel is a mozambican campaigner for social justice for african women and youth. she's the founder of the graca machel trust and is also chairfor the mandela institute for development studies that bears the name of her late husband, nelson mandela. and angelique kidjo is an internationally renowned singer—songwriterfrom benin, who has received four grammy awards for her music. she fled benin in the 1980s for political reasons, and continues her activism both through her campaigning and music. her new album, mother nature, is made with young artists and is out injune. welcome to you both, and of course, also to you wherever you're watching or listening to this programme, and to my questioners, whojoin us
from all corners in africa. and if you want to be part of the conversation, it's #bbcglobalquestions. let's get down now to our first question, and it's from kenya from joel. joel, fire away, please. so, my first question is to doctor machel. i is the current education| system in africa failing? well, short and direct to the point, isn't it, graca machel? is the education system in africa currently failing? your answer, please. i have no doubt to affirm that yes, education systems in africa are failing our young generation. first, the way it conceived to educate young people too sick for a job. second, the quality so far is so bad that young
people in primary schools, they complete without knowing really how to read and write properly, how to have critical thinking. yeah, and we have lots of still millions of children who are out of system. but the most critical thing is these systems need a profound reform to make sure that they respond to the demands and the needs of young people to prepare them for life, to prepare them, really, to initiate their own business and not depending only on... ..for a job. 0k, angelique kidjo, do you think the current education system in africa is failing, and if so, why? it has been failing for long time.
i mean, it has. it just gets worse today because the war becomes more and more global and technology is allowing us to realise how far back we fall in the job market. and i think, as graca said, we need a profound change, which means we need a government to understand in africa, that the education system has to change for our country to get out of poverty. and also, what we've learned in this covid—19 is also the technology. i mean, access to internet gives you a way of thinking about how you can also think about your future job. and know what is needed. and it has to be a global working market, not only in africa, it has to be an african workspace but also global. therefore, i think we need to think beyond the boxes and change the education system for all africans everywhere in the world. 0k, thank you. that leads on very nicely to our next question
from the capital of morocco. your question, please, which is related tojobs for africa's youth. my question is how can the ecosystem be improved to encourage _ young people to grow - and create job opportunities? angelique kidjo, you kick off. that's a very good question because as the education system fails, so does the entrepreneurial system. the question they are asking has roots in the beginning of all this. the government, one after the other, and never thought of preparing a workspace or in any infrastructure that can allow young kids to count, and the question i have is how government in africa are thinking
about the future of the youth? do they care? those questions become irrelevant because they will put in place a system that works. it's easy to do, but to understand the youth of africa is the power of tomorrow in the future of africa, and if the leaders of africa don't see those two things in common, then we can talk as much as we want and nothing will change. graca machel, how can the ecosystem for young african entrepreneurs be improved to create job opportunities? i'm not even so sure whether it exists in countries. my first point is they should be established. and who should be in power of this ecosystem? it should be young people networks so that they can articulate their own perspectives, their own needs and what they expect, government's private sector
and everyone to do to ensure they will be paying properly. that would lead to a production of a national skills training plan. which every government, every entrepreneur would know where to go. -- and every young people would —— and every young people would know -- and every young people would know where to 90m — -- and every young people would know where to go... so, i believe that first and foremost, these ecosystems need to be in place. they need to be funded. they need to be accountable annually in terms of how they work. let's go now to zimbabwe to our next question. your question. in this contemporary era, -
gender discrimination has related to a lot of inequality- between men and women. what are some opportunities i available to young african girls so they are not in a space of fear and insustainability? _ i know that both of my panelists have done a great deal in this area. let me start with you, graca machel. gender discrimination, huge problem in africa. in my view, what is missing is platforms where young girls particularly will be nurtured to affirm their identity, to affirm their own views of who they are and what they want to become. i feel that families, churches and schools,
they try to engage these young ones to conform with the realities of today. it doesn't allow them to challenge systems and to question situations that aren'tjust and unfair, as the young lady was asking. so, i believe more than just supporting girls to conform with the system. we need platforms in which they have their own space to lead the process of who they are, what do they want to do, to become themselves. this way, we transform the progressive systems we have of the continent. so greater agency for women is what graca machel is saying there. angelique kidjo, i know you are an ambassador for unicef, and you work in the space for girls.
what would you add? what graca said it is completely true and that's what i'm trying to address. what i do basically is to create, because in 2016, i realised that we've all been working with adolescent and young women without really asking them what they need. you can't help people if they don't speak up and come up with solutions. i completely transform i organisation. —— i completely transformed my organisation. with technology on your phone, you can map a village of 5000 people a day and find out the needs of the girl. are they in school, are they out of school, are the orphans, are they married, are they mothers and what do they need? and i find out there that technology that girls want the safe space, so i create girls club and start getting state funding
for businesses. today, villages my country, it has exceeded — today, villages my country, it has exceeded my expectations because they also— exceeded my expectations because they also realise that they can change — they also realise that they can change their own life. graca machel, i want to ask you this because we talk about a safe space for girls and women in africa, but in particular, for young women, we are seeing, sadly, an increase in sexual violence, particularly in conflict, where rape is being used as a tool of war. and this is something that, of course, is terribly distressing. i wonder if you would comment on that, graca machel. the reality is the numbers of women who are getting violated, who are being aggressively and sexually violated our increasing instead of reducing. and we don't find even
in the government systems spaces which you can consider absolutely safe for prevention. you'll find some, which help women when they have been violated. but i have to confess that we still need to go to the drawing board and find the right ways one, to prevent it, and second, to make sure that when this happens, we don't support only the women who have been violated. very rarely, you will find a woman who is violated to be taken
—— very rarely you will find the perpetrator to be taken to jail. very tragic. do you want to come back on what they said? just to add on to what these powerful woman have said, i it is high time to move on. to move from sugar—coating these . problems and do something about it. the situation keep getting. exacerbated and inequalities will never end, so thank you so much for what you just said. _ let's go to the capitol of sudan. your question, please. i'lljust come to you first, angelique kidjo. how can african youth be engaged in countering violence, extremism and terrorism?
i'll say that it starts with education. it's education and also the pride that you want to take in doing the right thing. we are talking about violence against women. why are we incapable of bringing the perpetrator to jail? because the system that is put in place always favours men. so, here is a man asking this question. the question i have for him is how can you help us, help the women not to be violated any more? how can men, african men that have pride and dignity, stand on the side of women and refuse for women to be acknowledge, and to help us fight extremism? extremism is a lack of education. if you don't respect a woman, you cannot be respected,
so extremism is about trying to understand the root cause of that. why people turn to extremism, where does it come from, what is driving that anger and try to find solutions to build up conversations and coming together with religious leaders for us to find out the solution together. graca machel, various studies across africa looking at the activities of nigeria and other countries. sadly now, what's happening in your own country, mozambique, where we're seeing a million people in dire straits because they're fleeing the extremists there. but studies show that actually, it's economic reasons often at the core of why young men — usually young men — join these extremist groups of. so, what can be done to counter it?
what would you say there? i think angelique addressed one of the issues. it's really education. these young people, in many cases, they are early educated and of course, economically, they are totally disadvantage. there are two sides of the same coin in my view. one, it's to raise the conditions of education so that they will discern what they want for life and they won't be an easy prey for these who are recruiting them. the second one is opportunities to earn a living in a dignified way. if these young people have education, they will not be easily taken by these extremists and practices.
so, i see a three—leg response. education, and economy and governments. the governments are driving the process but young people need to build a movement across the continent saying, we young people are not going to continue to be prey for these extremists. thank you for that, graca machel. how worried are you about the activities of extremists in northern mozambique? i can't really tell you. i can't tell you. it's tragic, it's tragic. but if we come to recognise, and now there are some efforts to focus on that region, programmes which economically empower young people, empower women, issues which will take time
to bear fruit. our government not having invested properly and that part of the world. —— in that part of the world. it has been a corridor of drug dealers, of arms dealers, and again, it's because of the government institutions have not been strong enough to counter these networks. let's go to nigeria to james. your question, james, please to graca angelique? two g ra ca two graca machel and angelique kidjo? why do we have african leaders that are insensible and the plight - of our people in africa? graca machel, we've got quite a few african leaders who are—
let's put it this way— fairly senior in their age and not giving up that presidential seat. and then they govern these vast swathes of young people. they don't always reflect their concerns, so what can we do about it? two questions there, make more responsive but also perhaps let them feed power to a younger generation. let me say that these old people who are in those positions, they will not give up willingly. so, i think we have two issues which i would like to challenge young people to get involved in. one is, who is electing these old people? i think it's important that young people begin to ask the right questions. who are we going to be voting for? and what are we going to be voting for? that means to look very critically in terms of candidates for these elections.
and question the motives in which they want to become leaders. second, look at the programmes they are bringing to young people. for young people to say "we will only vote on you if you have our interest, our issues, and our plans." at the centre of your campaign, and set up accountability and even to get those leaders to signed up on what they are going to do to benefit and prioritise young people. all right, let's go to angelique kidjo on that question. i like the optimism of graca, but i have to say something. it has been for a decade now that african leaders don't care at all about the population. most of them don't even know, they don't care at all. so, for the system to change, the western country has to stop being complacent.
an accomplice of those leaders at place _ an accomplice of those leaders at place. china is playing a big role in that, and a thing is if we africans set aside, the youth is asking for a better africa, instead we refuse to see the chinese coming to build bridges without exchange of knowledge, which means we don't... we won't learn to do anything. we're always going to be pushing our hand out to get some help. you want different leaders, look at what is going on in your country and come together. you have to be together, different group of youth, and you need a proposal and a programme that you want the leader to hold _ programme that you want the leader to hold for— programme that you want the leader to hold for you when the next election— to hold for you when the next election comes in. beaver at election_ election comes in. beaver at election polls and be there and watch — election polls and be there and watch what is going on. you have to
be present — watch what is going on. you have to be present. they will send you police — be present. they will send you police and _ be present. they will send you police and they will send you the army— police and they will send you the army but — police and they will send you the army but if you want freedom, you want _ army but if you want freedom, you want a _ army but if you want freedom, you want a different leadership, you have _ want a different leadership, you have to — want a different leadership, you have to sacrifice something for it. hypocrisy — have to sacrifice something for it. hypocrisy and corruption is killing us in _ hypocrisy and corruption is killing us in africa — james? the ball is in your court, the court of young people like you, what do you say? we elected this year and once they get into power, - they forget about us. we want the issue of unemployment to be we want the issue of unemployment to he soid~ _ we want the issue of unemployment to he soid~ over_ we want the issue of unemployment to be sold. over here, _ we want the issue of unemployment to be sold. over here, people _ we want the issue of unemployment to be sold. over here, people are - we want the issue of unemployment to be sold. over here, people are poor. . be sold. over here, people are poor. it is be sold. over here, people are poor. it is terrible — be sold. over here, people are poor. it is terrible that _ be sold. over here, people are poor. it is terrible that we _ be sold. over here, people are poor. it is terrible that we have _ it is terrible that we have ieadersm _ thanks very much and we're going to stay in nigeria for our final question. your question, please. all right, my question is how.
and when will the african youth shift from wanting their voices to be heard to becoming - the key voices as? —— the key voices of their nation? angelique kidjo. i would say through culture. music is a huge vehicle for that. sing and bring people together. we have so many tools. the youth have so many tools and they are not using it right. culture is like a glue. it brings people together. in music, you can bring so much message out there. we need to be proud and we need to want the best for us and be the change we want to see happen. it's easy to talk. i always say talk is cheap, action is expensive. a lot of things are being done that is positive. find out within your country the positive thing that are working and how you can make it grow,
how you can find alliances from different part of society — architects, lawyers, everyone, vendors and the street. come with an alliance through music and put the pressure on your leaders because as you say, power killed every second every minute because they are sitting on loads of money and the money is always in europe. the rich countries are complacent of this, and you guys have to understand exactly how the political system in your country functions. you have to start breaking it down, beat you have to start breaking it down, heat by _ you have to start breaking it down, heat by heat — you have to start breaking it down, beat by beat. - graca machel. you have to be aggressive. you have to have the strategies. you have to have targets to achieve. who are my alliances? and then young people have to accept it. don't say, i don't want to be in politics because politics is dirty. go into politics to clean politics.
go into politics to clean politics. go into politics to clean politics. go into business to clean business. you have to take responsibility. quite rightly, angelique kidjo said, you have to be the change that you want to see and you want to happen. a quick response from you. amazing perspective from our guests. like they said, we have several- strategies that we can use to become the key voice of our country, but that is not enough. - we need to take the bull by the horn and get involved in politics, - get involved in our country. i agree to that. thank you very much. all right, thank you very much indeed. some very concrete proposals there from our two panelists graca machel and angelique kidjo. and the youth of africa, remember we are the programme that brings you the trend lines behind the headlines and if you want to be part of global questions, you can submit a question on global questions just drop us an e—mail. until the next time, from me,
zeinab badawi and the rest of the global questions team, goodbye. hello. we have seen a lot of sunshine across the weekend. cloud around on sunday across scotland and northern ireland but through the week ahead, the dry and sunny weather will come to dominate. for northern ireland though, there was some rain around for the first part of sunday and in western scotland as well but that could be the most significant rain that we see for the uk as a whole the next ten days or so. the rain came courtesy of this weather front but as you can see, as we went into monday,
high pressure had bumped it largely offshore for the uk once again. so, through the evening there will be some late sunshine, skies were clear after dark across southern and eastern scotland and temperatures will fall. quite a widespread frost. saved from the cold will be western scotland and northern ireland, where they will cling on to a bit more cloud. some patchy fog across parts of eastern england but the senate —— the son should make quite short work of that early on monday. after a chilly start, a lot of sunshine for england, wales and scotland as that brand pushes further northwards. it also becomes largely confined to the very west of northern ireland, so the eastern counties should enjoy some decent brightness, up to 14 degrees in belfast. a little bit of rain to the west. monday, i think the warmest day of the week ahead. up to 17 degrees. it will be one of the milder nights. overnight monday into tuesday should be frost free because we have got a bit of a southerly air direction. on tuesday, again across england and wales, some fairly reasonable temperatures with highs of 15 or 16 degrees and a lot of sunshine.
but our weather front does eventually start to push its way south across the uk by tuesday, so a little bit of rain for eastern scotland, clearer skies to the north. under those clearer skies, you will see a frost starting to return to scotland. through wednesday daytime, colder air follows this weather front south across the uk. not much rain coming with that weather front, perhaps a few showers across england and wales but it is that plunge into the cooler, arctic air that will make things feel quite different towards the end of the week. it will still look dry, still largely light winds but temperatures 16 to 17 on monday but we will be lucky to get 13 to 14 degrees on thursday. goodbye.
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