African Studies Centre Annual Lecture. From Below: New Youth Politics in Africa

Convenors: Miles Tendi and Julia Viebach

Speakers: Alcinda Holwana (Firoz Lalji Centre for Africa, London School of Economics)


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In the past few decades, young Africans have been at the forefront of major political protests across the continent. Disenchanted young protesters fill the streets of capitals and towns, often peacefully, to demand jobs, political space and better prospects for the future. However, over the years youth social movements have struggled to pair street interventions with more sustainable forms of political engagement. Their uncompromising rejection of current political cultures underscores the potential for redrawing and redesigning the bounds of political imagination and fostering ‘new youth politics’; and grassroots political engagement, or politics from below, are emerging as a promising way forward.