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Sub-Saharan African Youth Prioritize Financial and Professional Success Over Personal Happiness

17% and 15% of Sub-Saharan youth are more concerned with personal success and
reaching their goals respectively, over personal happiness.
● Results form part of a global consultation of 45,000 people organized by Youth Talks,
the world’s largest open youth consultation.
● Report highlights social issues spotlighted by Nigerian and Sub-Saharan African
youth including individualism, education, corruption, and discrimination.

Youth Talks, an initiative of the Higher Education for
Good Foundation, has unveiled insightful data in a global report compiled from over 45,000
participants aged between 15 – 29, spanning 212 countries and territories. As the first
edition of the report from its consultation, the world’s largest open youth consultation, it is an
unprecedented data collection revealing the desires and needs of youth globally, answering
the questions of what they need to help them find meaning in life, live more harmoniously,
and thus together try and meet the challenges of our time.
Youth Talks uses state-of-the-art A.I. technology to analyze responses, enabling contributors
to answer open-ended questions and distilling 1 million uncensored contributions into rich,
comprehensible and actionable insights. It reveals an extraordinary diversity of themes,
ideas, nuances, and points of view, illustrating the dynamism and diversity of today’s youth.
Results from the consultation also unveiled important insights and opinions about Nigeria
and Sub-Saharan Africa from its youth.
“The massive involvement of African youth in the consultation as participants and ambassadors
demonstrates their strong desire to express themselves and actively participate in international
decision-making. This highlights the importance of giving the younger generation from this region
a platform to voice their opinions and contribute to solving the issues they face. By doing so, we
can ensure that their unique perspectives are considered when shaping policies and initiatives
that impact their future and the world at large.”, said Marine Hadengue, Director of Youth
The number one contribution from Nigerian participants focused on the paradox of
individualism (mentioned by 21% of participants), with respondents stressing the need to
love one another and criticizing selfishness in society. Other issues highlighted by Nigerian
respondents included the stagnation of the educational system (16%), political issues such
as corruption and nepotism (12%), discrimination and inequalities (11%), and the lack of
young people empowerment (9%).

The results also showcased significant differences between youths in Sub-Saharan Africa
and other parts of the world, whereby Sub-Saharan African youths were more interested in
concepts such as a search for purpose, achievement, and personal development, rather
than success, happiness, and financial situation. In terms of what they prioritized for the
future, personal happiness ranked seventh, behind financial and professional matters.

In addition, the report also revealed that Sub-Saharan African youth are particularly
concerned with the environment (24%), wars and conflicts (20%), and the economy (11%).
Their thoughts about the future are haunted by the spectres of poverty, social inequalities,
and a dearth of job opportunities. Around 10% of participants in the region expressed their
concerns about human behaviour in general, as they worry about an increase in human
cruelty and a lack of humanity.

“Seventy-six per cent of the leaders of tomorrow – today’s youth – think that the older
generations either don’t know or are deliberately ignoring their vital interest,” said Marine
Hadengue, Director of Youth Talks.
“The younger generations are the future of humanity. They are the people who will initiate
the greatest changes in a world turned upside down by our past actions. The priority of
leaders today should be on ensuring that this generation can express themselves freely,
without imposing on them the thoughts or paradigms of another era. Youth Talks was
created precisely to address this challenge. We are evolving in our mission from giving youth
a platform to raise their issues, to giving them a seat at the table. By doing so, we hope to
empower the youth to not only raise their voices on the issues that matter but also to
contribute to solving them.”
The initiative was established with the hope that leaders in every part of the world will take
note, and draw on these insights as they make decisions affecting the future. Perspectives
gathered covered a range of issues including climate change, poverty, inequality, economic
issues, racism and discrimination, and education amongst others. They are important for key
stakeholders such as governments, educational institutions, youth organizations,
businesses, and the general public, who are working to build a more sustainable future as
they are a valuable resource that must be fully incorporated into major decision-making
processes and actions of our time.
Youth Talks is an opportunity to gain insights into the priorities and concerns of the next
generation. As a unique platform harnessing state-of-the-art artificial intelligence, its report
will bring the voices of the world’s youth to the attention of organizations and individuals who
shape societies globally. It is a global tool for change as an important conduit between what
young people want and actionable societal change. The consultation by Youth Talks was
carried out between October 2022 through May 2023 and provides a rich snapshot of the
aspirations, hopes, and beliefs of young people around the world.
The results of the consultation are available here: https://youth-talks.org/results/
For media enquiries or more information about the report, kindly contact:
Oluwasemilore Adeoluwa or Oluwatolase Bamidele

About Youth Talks
Youth Talks, an initiative of the Higher Education for Good Foundation based in Switzerland, is the largest open
consultation of youth globally, with over 45,000 participants aged between 15-29, spanning 212 countries and
territories. This consultation, undertaken between October 2022 and May 2023, reached over 57 million young
people and culminated in the sharing of almost 1,000,000 contributions (any response to a question, open or
closed). Youth Talks aspires to be an important conduit between what young people want and actionable societal
change. Harnessing state-of-the-art Artificial intelligence, it distills vast amounts of shared content into digestible
insights. Youth Talks boasts partnerships with over 50 organizations worldwide.
Founding members: •SKEMA Business School (Brazil, China, France, South Africa, US) • Agence Universitaire
de la Francophonie -AUF (worldwide) • Audencia (France) • Concordia University (Canada) • EADA Business
School (Spain) • ESCP (France) • TBS Education (France)

Other partners: https://youth-talks.org/en/our-partners/
About the Higher Education for Good Foundation
The Higher Education for Good Foundation (HE4G) is a not-for-profit organization, created to help support
educational institutions transform their curricula to meet the needs of the mid-21st century, not least by equipping
young people to lead and participate in solving the pressing global challenges of this age. HE4G’s role will be to
help its partners better understand what young people want, thanks to the results of Youth Talks, its first initiative,
and to think through how to integrate this demand with their in-house expertise in education to design curriculums
that bring the best of established and innovative knowledge and approaches to education..
By working closely with its partners, HE4G expects to learn valuable lessons about how to modernize curricula.
This knowledge will be gathered in a curriculum redesign hub housed at the foundation that will be a core part of
a broader initiative to drive change in higher education well beyond the initial network of partners.
Higher Education for Good’s page

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