Past eventResearch Event

Poverty and Youth in Africa: Socio-Economic Challenges and Policy Responses

Chatham House, London


Dr Wayne Shand, Research Director, Growing up on the Streets, StreetInvest
Lili Harris, Girls Research Manager: Real Choices, Real Lives Cohort Study, Plan UK
Discussant: Allan Kiwanuka, Strategic Programmes Manager, Girls’ Education Challenge, ChildHope UK
Chair: Gita Honwana Welch, Associate Fellow, Africa Programme, Chatham House


For a large number of sub-Saharan African countries, rapid and unsustainable urbanization has led to increased poverty and inequality. Children and youth face particular challenges to their wellbeing as they struggle to create safe adult lives. While the Sustainable Development Goals centre on poverty reduction, translating such goals into meaningful policy responses that address the needs of the poorest children and the promotion of gender equality remains a considerable challenge in many contexts.

At this event, StreetInvest will present their research on the realities of life growing up on the streets in African cities, while Plan UK will report on the Real Choices, Real Lives cohort study of 142 girls across 9 countries, to highlight the implications for programmes and policy to realise gender equality. The panel will also discuss how governments and international partners can respond to help sustainably address the challenges experienced by young people in poverty, living in cities across Africa.