Africa is the youngest continent in the world concerning development and median age. All the countries, therefore, have an economic potential that needs to be carefully nurtured. The median age of any country is the age that half of its population is older than or younger than. It is an index that tells you how the population of a country is distributed.
The median age of various African countries varies from a low of 15.1 in Niger to a high of 25 to 28 in the countries that border the Mediterranean and those in the more developed southern parts of the continent. Development in a country leads to increasing the longevity of population and also a decline in fertility. The low median age of the majority of African countries is a pointer to the lack of development, especially in the countries in the central and middle parts of Africa.
The low median age in the African continent can be considered as something that can boost economic growth and an opportunity for development. The number of people who can work and be responsible for economic activity is high, and if these people are given the right education, training and facilities, they can significantly boost the standards of living and economic prosperity. At the same time, failure to provide the younger population with jobs and opportunities can lead to unrest and a danger of social problems. The working population of any country is made up of those between the ages of 25 and 59, and African countries have over 34 percent of their population in this age group.
The low median age of various African countries means that a greater percentage of Africans will be added to the working population of the world, and it is estimated, that this will result in Africans making for over 25 percent of workers in the decades to come. It is imperative for countries in the continent to invest in education and for creating employment opportunities. It also requires governments to attend to urban planning. Attention also needs to be focused on providing this vast population with food and homes.
As populations in other parts of the world age, the low median age in Africa gives all the countries a chance to develop their economies and take their place in the developed world. It is also a fact that low median ages can lead to a lot of social unrest when the young people feel their interests are not being looked after.
It has been a problem for many African countries and has led to a lot of civil wars, country divisions and created environments that are not at all conducive to planned development. It has also been noted that as median ages in African countries have increased; social conflicts have reduced because the age structures have become more balanced.
The low median age in African countries has made it necessary for solutions to be found for creating jobs for the younger generation, and increase access to family planning so that population growths can be controlled.