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


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 Talks.


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.