This report explores the linkages between young people’s economic engagement and their social and political engagement in contexts of violence in Africa.
The enquiry started from the assumption that, in the everyday lives of young people in Africa, engagement in formal or informal livelihood activities is rarely separated from their social lives and politics, especially the politics that operate in the local economy. As young people are embedded in social and, possibly, also in political relationships, the ways in which they pursue opportunities for work will depend not only on their skills and demand for labour, but on their navigation of the political actors that shape the nature of the local labour market and economy.
These issues become all the more complex in settings that are in the middle of, or recovering from, violent conflict; or are otherwise affected by high levels of violence. In these settings, the politics of the local economy might be entangled with the dynamics that sustain the violence.