BY Fredrick Ngugi, 8:00am June 28, 2016,

How Young People Are Changing the African Narrative

Kenyan music band Sauti Sol at a music concert in Mombasa, Kenya. Photo (

For so long, the African narrative has been war, poverty, hunger, and disease. While some of these things are still a reality across the continent, it is exciting to see the new generation working toward changing this narrative.

A closer look at the rising wave of young people determined to make their lives better without waiting for foreign help shows a generation that is not ready to sit and wait for the proverbial “future.”

Technology & Innovation

Africa has some of the brightest and most-innovative minds that the world has ever seen. The need to be better has compelled young Africans to be creative. With unique technological inventions, these Africans are not only applying themselves but also changing lives across the continent.

Jamila Abbas

Photo credit: Jamila Abbas, the CEO of M-Farm (

A good example is Jamila Abbas, a Kenyan CEO and founder of M-Farm. With a simple Android app, Jamila has helped Kenyan farmers connect to the right market, enabling them to sell their products to the highest bidder. Arthur Zang, a 28-year-old Cameroonian, is another African innovator who invented Cardiopad, a touchscreen tablet that’s simplified the whole process of heart examinations.


In the past, many Africans believed that only older people had the capacity to run multibillion-dollar enterprises. Luckily, this misguided idea is slowly changing, with more young people venturing into serious entrepreneurship.

In June 2015, Forbes listed 30 young African entrepreneurs, most of which are in their early 20s. And despite their tender age, these young entrepreneurs are running multimillion-dollar firms — the majority of which are recognized globally.


The African fashion industry has always maintained a steady rise thanks to young, creative Africans who have realized their potential through unique African fashion designs that the world has fallen in love with.

Adama Abbas

Fashion show organized by one of Africa’s top fashion designers- Adama Paris. Photo (

With the likes of Adama Paris, Christie Brown, and Thula Sindi, Africa’s fashion industry is certainly destined for greatness. And the fact that their products are dominating the global market is a sure sign that Africa is rising.

Music & Poetry

Since time immemorial, Africans have always used spoken word for sensitization. Instead of picking up arms, many youths are using spoken word (music and poetry) to express their feelings, transforming the African narrative.

Africans have been made to believe that they are the future leaders. But with the new generation of young leaders, entrepreneurs, musicians, and innovators, it’s clear that young people want to be in control of their destinies.

Last Edited by:Abena Agyeman-Fisher Updated: June 28, 2016


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