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Youth of Sudan

Young people make up 62% of the total population and the majority lives in poverty. One third of young women and a quarter of young men aged 15-24 are illiterate. Around half of young men and women have completed primary school, which indicates a high dropout rate. Admission to secondary schools and higher education is still low, especially in rural areas.

Young people who struggle to access education also have difficulty finding work. Overall, 20% of Sudanese youth is unemployed; the percentage of unemployed young women is even higher. This has led to mounting frustration.

Abu Shouk IDP camp Sudan culture and media
Women and girls leaving Abu Shouk IDP camp near El Fasher. Photo Aliocha Salagnac

Even those who find employment in the informal sector work long hours for low wages and without social protection. Young people are also particularly at risk from drug use and exposure to sexually transmitted diseases.

The civil war that began in 1983 and is ongoing in several regions, has taken its toll. For many young people, migration is seen as the only way out.

Yet despite making up the majority of the population, youth participation in Sudan’s political and social life is limited. A number of governmental and non-governmental programmes have been established to target and resolve youth issues.

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