Secondary Education in Africa: Perspectives of African Youth

A part of the Mastercard Foundation’s report on Secondary Education in Africa: Preparing Youth for the Future of Work.

To better understand the thoughts, experiences, and concerns of Africa’s youth when it comes to secondary education, it is critical to listen to the voices of young people themselves. Their perspectives are notably absent from many policy discussions on secondary education. To rethink secondary education to meet the needs of young people entering the labour force, it is critical that their experiences and needs be heard.

The Association for the Development of Education in Africa (ADEA) selected six Youth Ambassadors from over 1,500 applications across the continent. The rigorous selection process took into consideration age, regional background, gender, disabilities, and language diversity.

In 2018, the Youth Ambassadors were tasked to gather insights and opinions from young people throughout Africa to highlight areas and opportunities where secondary education can better prepare youth for the future of work. They did that over a period of nine months, gathering findings from a diverse range and wide network of young people.

Upon the completion of their research, the Youth Ambassadors met in Abidjan in January 2019, alongside ADEA and the Mastercard Foundation to identify, discuss, and agree on the most significant recurring themes that came from the discussions and to formulate recommendations to address the issues. From the gathering in Abidjan, the findings presented in this document were developed.