This project is led by the Chr. Michelsen Institute (Norway) in collaboration with IDS and funded by NorGlobal. IDS Research fellow Dr Marjoke Oosterom leads the case study in Zimbabwe and the research uptake strategy.
The project focuses on how the ‘born free’ generation of youth perceives and interacts with the generation that holds power. Of all regions, sub-Saharan Africa has the highest proportion of youth. Yet its political regimes are led by aging politicians, many of whom have been in power since the end of the liberation wars of the 1970s to 1990s. This project starts with the conundrum that yesterdays rebels have become elderly power-holders, while the majority of the population is now born after these seminal struggles. What happens in the encounters between these regimes and the large youth cohorts? We will look at two policy areas, youth employment and youth representation (through quota, youth institutions) in order to better understand the regime-youth interaction. When are such policies empowering the youth, when do they bind youth in patronage relationships and when do they reinforce marginalization? The project will study this in Ethiopia, Mozambique, Uganda and Zimbabwe. The project will last from 2019-2022.