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Key findings
  • Health, unemployment, food shortages, and water supply are the most important problems that Angolan youth (aged 18-35 years) want their government to address.
  • On average, Angolan youth have more education than their elders. More than six in 10 youth (63%) have secondary or post-secondary schooling, compared to 51%, 43%, and 27% of the progressively older cohorts.
  • But youth are also more likely to be unemployed: Two-thirds (67%) of young Angolans say they are looking for a job, compared to 33%-52% of older respondents.
  • More than half (52%) of youth describe their personal living conditions as “fairly bad” or “very bad.”
  • Only one in 10 young people give the government a passing grade on its efforts to create jobs (10%) and improve the living standards of the poor (11%).
  • Only around three in 10 young respondents approve of the job performance of President João Lourenço (33%) and their member of Parliament (28%).
  • Young Angolans are less likely than their elders to vote in elections, contact traditional leaders, and attend community meetings.

Angola’s population is strikingly young: Three-fourths (75%) of its 34 million people are under  the age of 30, and only 3% are above age 65 (Instituto Nacional de Estatística, 2016). 

Does the government prioritise the needs of young people?  

Angola ranks 166th out of 181 countries in the Global Youth Development Index, lagging  behind its Southern African neighbours in its efforts to promote youth education,  employment, health, equality and inclusion, peace and security, and political and civic  participation (Commonwealth, 2020; Business Weekly, 2021).  

Angolan youth face particular challenges in a struggling economy with high unemployment,  exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic (Rodrigues, 2022). A severe drought in 2022  worsened food insecurity and living conditions, adding to the list of obstacles that impede  youth development (United Nations Population Fund, 2023).  

The Angolan government has stated its commitment to creating employment and training  opportunities for young people, in line with the National Youth Plan’s vision to include the  youth demographic in the economic, political, social, economic, and cultural development  of the country (Ver Angola, 2023; African Network of Youth Policy Experts, 2017). In a move  that affirmed the importance of youth voices, the Ministry of Youth and Sports launched a  messaging service that allows youth to make their voices heard regarding the challenges  that concern them (United Nations Population Fund, 2020). Most recently, the National  Assembly approved a resolution for the country’s ratification of the Declaration on the  Development and Empowerment of Youth in the Southern African Development Community,  with a particular focus on young women, young people with disabilities, and rural youth  (Angop, 2024).  

The Afrobarometer Round 9 survey in Angola, conducted in 2022, provides an on-the-ground  look at the situation of the country’s young people. Survey findings show that Angolan youth  have more education than their elders but are also more likely to be unemployed. Health,  unemployment, food insecurity, and water supply top the list of the most important problems  that young Angolans want their government to address.  

Fewer than four in 10 youth approve of the way the president and members of Parliament (MPs) have performed their jobs. Though powerful in number, Angola’s youth are less likely  than their elders to participate in some change-making political and civic activities, including voting. 

Asafika Mpako

Asafika is the communications coordinator for Southern Africa

Carlos Pacatolo

Carlos Pacatolo is the national investigator for Angola.