Africa’s Young, Unwanted, and Enraged
(Bloomberg) — Protests in African countries from Burkina Faso to Burundi have been sparked by youthful populations with little hope of employment — and by leaders who have in some cases ruled for decades.
Protesters shout during a protest against President Pierre Nkurunziza’s decision to run for a third term, in Bujumbura, Burundi, May 11. 2015. East African leaders will hold a summit in Tanzania on May 13 aimed at breaking the political deadlock in Burundi and ensuring the country holds peaceful elections, Tanzania’s presidency says. REUTERS/Goran Tomasevic Protesters shout during a protest against President Pierre Nkurunziza’s decision to run for a third term, in Bujumbura, Burundi, May 11. 2015.
The discontent, which began in Burkina Faso in October, spread to the Democratic Republic of Congo in January, and has now crossed the continent to Burundi, prompting regional leaders to call an emergency meeting after two weeks of protests and at least 14 deaths. Mass demonstrations in Burkina Faso ended Blaise Compaore’s 27 years in power.
“Underpinning a lot of these protests is anger about stalled development, rising food prices and cutting fuel subsidies,” Clive Gabay, an expert on African politics at the Queen Mary University of London, said. “You have this youthful, unemployed population that has been sidelined.”