Nigerian and sub-Saharan youths are prioritising their personal financial, and professional success over happiness, according to a new research.
In terms of what the youth prioritised for the future, personal happiness ranked seventh, behind financial and professional matters, the research finds.
According to research by Youth Talks, an initiative of the Higher Education for Good Foundation, 17 percent and 15 percent of sub-Saharan youth are more concerned with personal success and reaching their goals respectively than personal happiness.
The research unveiled insightful data in a global report compiled from over 45,000 participants aged from 15 to 29, spanning 212 countries, and territories.
And the report highlights social issues spotlighted by Nigerian and Sub-Saharan African youth including individualism, education, corruption, and discrimination.
Marine Hadengue, director of Youth Talks, speaking on the finding said; “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.”
According to her, by doing so, it ensures that the unique perspectives of youths are considered when shaping policies and initiatives that impact their future and the world at large.
The survey 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 number one contribution from Nigerian participants focused on the paradox of individualism, 21 percent of participants mentioned it, with respondents stressing the need to love one another and criticising selfishness in society.
Also highlighted by Nigerian respondents included the stagnation of the educational system (16 percent), political issues such as corruption and nepotism (12 percent), discrimination and inequalities (11 percent), and the lack of young people empowerment (nine percent).
Moreover, the results showcased significant differences between youths in Sub-Saharan Africa and other parts of the world, whereby the African youth were more interested in concepts such as a search for purpose, achievement, and personal development, rather than success, happiness, and financial situation.
The report also revealed the youth are particularly concerned with the environment (24 percent), wars and conflicts (20 percent), and the economy (11 percent).
Their thoughts about the future are haunted by the specters of poverty, social inequalities, and a dearth of job opportunities.
About 10 percent 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.
“76 percent of the leaders of tomorrow – today’s youth – think that the older generations either don’t know or are deliberately ignoring their vital interest,” Hadengue said.
“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.”
Hadengue urged leaders to ensure 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.”
She noted that Youth Talks uses state-of-the-art A.I. technology to analyse responses, enabling contributors to answer open-ended questions and distilling one million uncensored contributions into rich, comprehensible, and actionable insights.
The first edition of the report from its consultation reveals 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.
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.
Viewpoints covered range from issues such as climate change, poverty, inequality, economic issues, racism and discrimination, and education amongst others.