Skip to main content


Bisharo Ali Hussein
Many Somali youth have known nothing but conflict and hardship for most of their lives, especially in south central. Where can you search for hope when all you have ever known is conflict, poverty, loss and displacement? This is the profound question facing Somalia's lost generation. Somalia's young population could be its greatest strength, but only if it tackles the sky-high unemployment and economic disenfranchisement. More than half of Somalia's population is under 18, with the majority born after the overthrow of Mohammed Siad Barre in 1991, the pivotal event that sent the country spiraling into a deeper anarchy.

Somali people are facing a post-conflict dilemma: prioritizing recovery when the peace objective prevails over the economic development objective. Yet at the heart of the nation building we must look to the future and ensure that youth unemployment is also on the agenda.

According to Humanitarian agencies, as a group, youth are more vulnerable to social, economic and political exclusion than older age cohorts who are relatively better protected by the economy, social policy and customs. Somali youth face multiple structural barriers built into the family, organizations, local government and society at large. At the family and community level, barriers are shaped by gender, identity, class, sexual orientation, age, family, community, education and ability. Powerlessness comes from institutions, such as through dis-empowering laws, and from a lack of individual and collective resources.

The majority of youth in Somalia are not equipped with the knowledge necessary to be fully involved as active participants in their communities. And they are silenced and tokenized because they are young. Other forms of oppression, such as gender discrimination, may operate alongside ageism, making it a struggle for youth to simply survive, much less assert their identity. While youth in south central Somalia face steeper obstacles than youth in the post-conflict northern areas, both confront similar challenges relating to the different dimensions of exclusion, including poor education, a lack of access to livelihoods and no outlet for political participation.

“…strategies to empower youth and local communities to work towards resolving conflict and increase civil society participation in conflict resolution and peace building should be key areas of work”

The statements, comments, or opinions expressed through the use of IGNITE THE YOUTH are those of their respective authors, who are solely responsible for them, and do not necessarily represent the views held by the entire society of IGNITE THE YOUTH. 



  2. Great article, truly useful and enlightening. The future of Somali youth is being ignored by politicians. More advocacy is needed, keep up the good work.


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Call For African Youth Activists

What is an “Ignite Activist”? ­ An Ignite Activist is a high powered​ and ambitious young African individual. They are patriotic about their own country and the African continent as a whole. They are keen to speak out, share their opinions or experiences, and are always ready to defend the well-being of the African Youth! As vocal youth activists, they strive to not only lead the conversation on African Youth, but to ignite young Africans into Change-makers!
About Our Youth Activism Program ­ For a period of up to 6 months, corresponding youth activists will be engaged under the leadership and guidance of our International Panel. While there will be a formal set of activities, youth activists will have the liberty to call upon fellow members towards a particular cause, post and share articles or video messages to make themselves and their views heard! After 6 months of voluntary service, these members will be accorded with Alumni status and receive adequate recognition for their selfle…

Bisharo Ali Hussein (Somalia) - African Youth Role Model Series

Bisharo Ali Hussein is a Kenyan-Somali activist and outspoken champion for Women’s Rights and Gender Equality in Somalia. She channels her activism through her career as a Protection Officer for the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) in Galkayo, Somalia and also served as an African Youth Activist of Ignite The Youth from 2015 to 2016. As an Ignite The Youth activist she shared on the youth experiences of conflict in her country and “Ensuring Access to Education for all”. Her most spirited campaigns however were part of her Women’s Rights agenda; which focused on demanding an end to Female Genital Mutilation and early marriage, and her advocacy for Gender Equality; arguing for gender-biased inheritance laws to change. Bisharo is currently pursuing her Postgraduate Diploma in ‘International Gender Studies’ at the University of Iceland.
Almost 2 years after serving as a corresponding activist for Ignite The Youth, Bisharo insists that Somali women remain one of the most vulnerable groups in…

The African Youth Commission [PROFILE]

"From Internet Community to One Governed by a Constitution"
The African Youth Commission (AYC) was founded in November 2013, as the African Union Youth Working Group (AUYWG), at a Youth Consultation on Agenda 2063 in Tunis,Tunisia. From 2013 to 2015 the AUYWG collaborated via an active mailing list, for the 2 years of online interaction the network invited numerous African Youth Leaders in the continent and diaspora. The working group later changed into a Commission as the cause of the network evolved by consensus to create a youth mirror to the African Union Commission. 
"The main objective of establishing the Commission is to organize all young people in Africa and support the work of African youth, Youth structures (Pan African Youth Union & Youth Division of the African Union Commission) in their quest to effective service delivery and advocacy activities on the African Youth Charter..." - AYC
At this point the Commission proceeded to draft its o…