Proposal for a transversal youth policy in Angola
Many countries don’t need a robust youth policy, either because the youth population is not significant, with most socio-economic problems being in the elderly, or because they have healthy economies and societies that easily encourage and incorporate young people.
This is not the case in Angola. The numbers on Angolan youth demand special attention from the political power to this age group. With reference to July 2021, it is estimated that 47.83% of the Angolan population is between 0-14 years old and 18.64% between 15-24 years old; therefore, 66.47% of the population is up to 24 years old, or in other words, about 2/3 of the Angolan population is young. It is an immense and impressive mass of babies, teenagers and young adults that constitute the immensity of the Angolan people.
Fig. 1- Angola population pyramid (2021)
This impressive demographic is joined by unemployment figures. According to the most recent data available, unemployment affects 59.2% of the young population (here considered to be aged 15-24) in the third quarter of 2021, with a year-on-year increase in this situation of 2.8%. It is clear that this number does not reflect those who were somehow absorbed by the informal economy, however, its magnitude will always be remarkable.
In fact, from a sociopolitical point of view, it has been verified that the demonstrations against the government policy in Angola, and the activism in social networks, is carried out, in large part, by young people.
Youth is, therefore, a huge force in the Angolan economy and societies, which is on the boil.
These various factors: extremely relevant number of young people in the total population, youth unemployment and socio-political discontent that force the consideration of a transversal and encompassing youth policy for Angola.
Youth policy is defined as the government’s commitment and practice to guarantee good living conditions and opportunities for a country’s young population. Youth policy is a strategy implemented by public authorities to provide young people with opportunities and experiences that support their successful integration into society and allow them to be active and responsible members of society and agents of change.
In these terms, a youth policy seeks to create opportunities for young people, promoting their participation, inclusion, autonomy, solidarity, in addition to well-being, learning, leisure, employment.
The government’s role will be to launch policies with these goals in relation to youth and to work together with the various actors involved in the information, development and implementation of youth policies, such as: youth councils, youth NGOs, interest groups, groups of young people, young workers, researchers, schools, teachers, employers, medical personnel, social workers, religious groups, media.
The model we developed attributes three axes to youth policies:
a) The axis of employment;
b) The axis of sport and leisure;
c) The axis of culture and training.
We understand that a youth policy must translate into measures in these three axes in order to provide young people with an integral and complete personal development.
In Angola there is a Ministry of Youth and Sports (Minjud) whose main function is to assist the President of the Republic in the elaboration and execution of the State’s youth policy (Article 2 of the Organic Statute of the Ministry of Youth and Sports, Presidential Decree no. 228/20, of September 7th).
However, in addition to advertisements or programs with a rhetorical value, there is no vision of a transversal and active youth policy such as is needed in Angola. And such a policy is essential. The relevant news that is noted about the activity of Minjud focus essentially on football and football stadiums.
It is therefore urgent to go further and launch a youth policy that will necessarily cover several ministries and will have to be coherent and consistent. As we mentioned, this youth policy would unfold along three axes, paying attention to employment, sports and culture.
It is proposed to adopt a youth policy for Angola described in the following terms.
The youth policy would be transversal to several ministries, not dependent only on one ministry, and therefore necessarily coordinated directly by the President of the Republic. As mentioned, it would have three axes that would complement each other.
• In the first axis, referring to employment, a program to guarantee full employment would be launched for all those aged between 22 and 23 years old and having completed a degree. The State would assume the responsibility to employ them in its structure or to subsidize for a period of time not less than 2 years a workplace in the private sector. Therefore, the State would either ensure employment in its several administrations, institutes or public companies, or it would subsidize private companies for the creation and hiring of jobs for young people. All young graduates aged 22-23, in addition to receiving training and assistance to find work, would have guaranteed paid work, with the State having to pay 100% of their salary in a private company or employ participants in the public sector or support creation of a microenterprise. All participants would receive at least a minimum wage fixed in accordance with the Presidential Decree that regulates the subject adequate to a life with dignity. In a second phase, the guarantee of employment for all young people aged 22-23, regardless of their qualification, would also be studied, although those without formal qualifications should attend training to acquire some ability in art or craft.
• In the second axis referring to sports, an integrated sports project in school and in the community would be promoted. In this context, a proposal should not be developed to do everything everywhere, or as referred to in connection with a previous plan “to involve sport modalities of handball, athletics, basketball, football, volleyball, gymnastics and chess” in all schools.
The plan would aim at the rational use of scarce resources and with the search for specialization. Thus, each school would be required to dedicate itself to only one sport and to develop it freely within its midst. They would not aim for national championships, nor for large structures, but they would bet on focus and specialization. Each school with its sport. Only one, but open to all young people. At the same time and in competition with schools, each municipality would also promote a sport open to all young people. We would thus have a sport project for everyone with a specialization from each institution and with no other initial ambition other than to put young people in sport.
• Finally, the third axis dedicated to culture would also have to be based on specialization. Here, efforts would be made to concentrate resources on promoting reading by young people. We would start by adopting a project launched by the Gulbenkian Foundation in Portugal in the middle of the last century and already sporadically adopted in Angola in provincial initiatives, such as the “Giro do Saber” promoted by the Provincial Library of Malanje.
Reading for youth based on traveling libraries and street readings would be a project aimed at encouraging young people’s taste and reading habits. The traveling libraries will consist of vans that would travel across the country with volunteers and books offered and would stop at each location allowing the reading of these books and explaining some of them. At the same time, these volunteers would perform street readings of books appealing to youth in a mixed spectacle of reading and music, thus attracting target audiences.
One would look for this reading project to be financed by the penal system. That is, it would give rise to a change in the law that would allow all prison sentences of up to two years for economic and financial crimes to be exchanged for donations of vans, books and volunteer support.
Fig. 2- Description of a transversal youth policy
With these measures in the field of employment, sport sand culture, a youth policy that is so necessary for Angola would be launched.
There is nothing like taking advantage of the present party Congresses to promote and discuss these proposals.
 Cfr. https://www.cia.gov/the-world-factbook/countries/angola/#people-and-society
 Finn Denstad, Youth Policy Manual, 2009
 Conselho da Europa CM / Rec (2015) 3
 We have developed proposals for these full-employment programs in other CEDESA reports, see for example https://www.cedesa.pt/2020/11/16/proposta-de-um-esquema-piloto-de-garantia-de-emprego-em-angola/
 See the study referred to in the previous note