East African Institute
Tanzania is a youthful country. The median age was estimated at about 17 years in 2014, and about 70% of the population is aged between 15 and 35 years3
Tanzania’s youth, defined as individuals between the ages of 18 and 35, will determine and shape the country’s future. With that in mind, the East African Institute of the Aga Khan University commissioned a survey to understand the values, attitudes, concerns and aspirations of this critical segment of the population.
About 1,940 male and female respondents aged 18–35 years were interviewed. The survey revealed important insights, and offers reasons both for optimism, deep concern and the need for urgent action.
There is a strong esprit de corps among the youth, with 58% identifying first as youth. The youth valued faith, hard work and family. The survey reveled that the youth were entrepreneurial, with 50% aspiring to start their own business Although agriculture is one of the leading sectors in Tanzania, accounting for 24% of the GDP, 30% of total exports and 65% of raw materials for local industries only 20% of the youth said they would go into farming.
The study showed that while youth were suffering from and concerned about unemployment, they are willing to be part of the solution by creating jobs through entrepreneurship. The study also reveals that while the youth hold positive values, they are vulnerable to corruption and political manipulation, which could undermine good governance and Tanzania’s nascent democracy.
While the findings may seem contradictory – hopeful and worrying – there is an opportunity to focus on harnessing and directing the strongly held positive values of faith, family, hard work and entrepreneurship to address the crisis integrity as well as the challenge of unemployment among the youth.
Overall, Tanzanian youth are positive and optimistic about the future and are confident that it will be more prosperous, offering more jobs and better access to health and education.
(2016). The Tanzania Youth Survey Report.
Available at: https://ecommons.aku.edu/eastafrica_eai/21