Poll: Kenyan youth most optimistic globally
Kenyan youth are more optimistic than older generations about their future as well as that of the country and the world, according to the Goalkeepers Global Youth Outlook Poll released last week.
Together with youth from Mexico, Kenyan youth were found to be the most optimistic in the world, with a 95 per cent rate of optimism. Kenyan adults were also found to be optimistic, coming in third at 90 per cent, just behind adults in Mexico and Nigeria.
More than 40,000 respondents from 15 countries including Kenya, were surveyed, with youth and adult participants aged 12 and above. Most of the surveys were conducted online, except in Kenya, Nigeria and India, where interviews were conducted face to face. In Kenya, 500 young people aged 12 to 17 years took part.
According to the poll, commissioned by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and conducted by Ipsos in July and August, 84 per cent of Kenyan youth are optimistic about the future of the county, and 87 per cent are optimistic about the future of the world.
Among adults, 78 per cent expressed optimism about the future of the country and the world. Further, 95 per cent of Kenyan youth and 83 per cent of adults said they were confident that their living conditions would improve in the next 15 years.
However, despite registering high levels of optimism, the respondents noted some points of concern. Kenyan youth listed education (31 per cent), health (20 per cent), corruption (17 per cent) and security as the most worrying issues of concern; while adults said that economic instability (26 per cent), health (25 per cent), unemployment (23 per cent) and corruption (21 per cent) were the most pressing.
In healthcare, more than half of the youth surveyed singled out HIV/AIDS as the main health issue of concern, followed by cancer, which was an issue of concern for a third of the respondents.
They also noted that almost half (45 per cent) travel 30 to 60 minutes to get to a health facility to access care for a major medical issue. Forty-one per cent of youth also noted that they do not have easy access to birth control.
Young people also expressed concern about the effects of climate change on their communities, with 63 per cent saying it is a significant threat.
Overall, three out of four young people said their generation would have a more positive impact on the world than their parents’. While youth called on global leaders to focus on improving education, promoting health and providing access to jobs, two out of five young people said that they were not knowledgeable about politics and government, and four out of five felt that political leaders do not care about them. However, majority felt that youth can make a difference in how the country is governed.
On gender equality, 51 per cent of youth said life is not better for men than for women, and 79 per cent were hopeful that life would be better for both men and women in the future. A few were less optimistic, with 18 per cent saying that life would be worse for boys and men, and 10 per cent saying that life would be worse for girls and women.
Young people enjoying themselves at an event. A survey sampling 40,000 respondents (12 years and above) in 15 countries has revealed that Kenyan youths are the most optimistic in the world.