Written by Godfrey AKON

30-year olds to make up half of world population by 2030

President of the United Nations General Assembly, UNGA, María Espinosa, has projected a global rise in youth population, predicting that youth below the age of 30 year will make up half of the world population between now and 2030.

Espinosa, who stated this while delivering a lecture at the University of Abuja, last Tuesday, said 42 per cent of these young people will be Africans.

Her University of Abuja lecture which also featured an interactive session with students of the institution was part of her official visit to Nigeria.

The UNGA president however said from evidence gathered by UN agencies and the World Bank, young people play a crucial role in increasing social cohesion and promoting tolerance, adding that the higher their economic and political participation, the lower the chances of violence.

Speaking on unemployment among youth she said “Young people already account for a third of those unemployed globally, and two-thirds of those without jobs in this region. Over the next decade or so, we will need to create 40 million extra jobs per year just to keep pace with the growing population.”

“But as I say to the governments I meet: young people are the greatest opportunity we have. Time and again, we hear young people described as problems to be solved – associated with violence, crime, extremism and so on, even though only a small proportion of youths are engaged in these activities. This is particularly the case for young Africans and young people of African descent. We must change that narrative. You deserve better.”

Espinosa said the UN desperately needs the input of the younger generation as there are challenges its Member States must overcome, adding that just as the need for global cooperation becomes more obvious and urgent, multilateralism appears to be under threat.

She described young people as the greatest opportunity the world has and decried the fact that they are the usual suspects in crime and other social vices.

“But as I say to the governments I meet: young people are the greatest opportunity we have. Time and again, we hear young people described as problems to be solved – associated with violence, crime, extremism and so on, even though only a small proportion of youths are engaged in these activities.

“This is particularly the case for young Africans and young people of African descent. We must change that narrative. You deserve better,” she said.

 

 

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