Gambia: An Afrobarometer survey reveals the priorities of Gambian youth

The Afrobarometer survey revealed that health, managing the economy, water supply, education and unemployment are the priorities of most young Gambians.

Among young people surveyed between 18 and 35 years old, 41% favor health, 37% favor managing the economy, 27% prefer water supply and 27% choose education, and unemployment concerns only 18% young people.

Health and running the economy remain the most important issues that young Gambians want the government to address; according to dispatch n° 521 from the cabinet dated May 25, 2022.

It showed that the age category is more likely to prioritize education and infrastructure/roads, over unemployment, than the elderly.

Health and running the economy are the most important issues that young Gambians (aged 18-35) want their government to address.

They are more likely than their elders to prioritize education and infrastructure/roads, but not unemployment.

On average, young Gambians are better educated than their elders. Almost six in 10 young Gambians (58%) have some secondary or post-secondary education, compared to around half in the 36-55 (32%) and over 55 (28%) age brackets.

But they are also more likely to be unemployed: a quarter (25%) of young Gambians are looking for work, compared to 21% of middle-aged citizens and 16% of older citizens.

Only a minority of young Gambians say the government is doing a good job of meeting the needs of young people (22%) and addressing their priorities for government action.

Nearly six in 10 Gambians (57%) say they would be willing to pay higher taxes to fund youth aid programs.

If the government could increase spending to help young people, job creation (cited by 46% of respondents) would be Gambians’ top priority for additional investment.

The majority of Gambians say that for the country to do well, we should listen to the wisdom of our elders (53%) rather than the new ideas of young people (36%).

This view is widely shared across all age groups – even among young adults (51%).

Young Gambians are less likely than their elders to engage in political and civic activities, including voting, contacting leaders, attending community meetings and joining others to raise an issue.

The findings suggest that young Gambians are not taking full advantage of political and civic avenues in The Gambia to make their voices and priorities heard.

He concluded that few Gambians believe their government is doing enough to develop one of the country’s most important resources – its youth; while a majority of citizens are in favor of greater investment in programs targeting young people, even if it means paying higher taxes.

Afrobarometer is a pan-African, non-partisan survey research network that provides authoritative data on African experiences and assessments of democracy, governance and quality of life. Eight rounds of surveys have been conducted in up to 39 countries since 1999.

The Round 8 surveys (2019/2021) cover 34 countries. Afrobarometer conducts face-to-face interviews in the language chosen by the respondent.

The Afrobarometer team in The Gambia, led by the Center for Policy, Research and Strategic Studies (CepRass), interviewed a nationally representative stratified random probability sample of 1,200 Gambian adults in January and February 2021.

A sample of this size yields results at the national level with a margin of error of +/- 3 percentage points at a 95% confidence level.

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