Youth as Tactical Agents of Peacebuilding and Development in the Sahel
By Gilda R. and Mathijs C.
In the second section of his paper, Agbiboa provides a qualitative and quantitative study of who is considered “youth” in various African countries. In order to provide an accurate description of who is considered “youth”, the author takes into account several factors: cultural background, gender, majority age, and voting age.
Map showing the countries that are commonly included in the geographic, climatic and cultural region of the Sahel
In the first case study the youth's agency is found in two crucial, yet very different roles. First, Agbiboa summarizes a few reasons why young people would choose to join Boko Haram, namely “ignorance of religious teaching”, “widespread unemployment”, illiteracy combined with difficult upbringing, and the Nigerian force’s unlawful actions that drove to radicalization in the region in general. On the other hand, many young people choose to mobilize against Boko Haram. This is mostly done by joining the state JTF (Joint Task Force) with whom they can contribute to leading counter-terrorist operations in their area. Although young people are willing to take on the role of mobilizing against the excess of violence in their region, the stigma of being violent or troublesome causes residents to raise concerns on the CJTF and keep alive the denial of youth agency.