Global Voices (GV) is committed to amplifying traditionally marginalized voices from around the world. This extends to women, people with disabilities, Indigenous populations, people from the Global South, and young people. Those under 18 years of age make up over 29 percent of the global population. However, they are still routinely overlooked due to their perceived immaturity, inexperience, and overexuberance.

At Global Voices, we believe that young people have important perspectives to contribute to global discourse and debates. All around the world young activists and changemakers tackle complex problems to make tangible differences in their communities. Whether it is through protesting injustice, creating alternative information sources amid fake news epidemics, or finding creative ways to advocate for policy change in their communities, young people are often on the cusp of political and social change.

For some young people, this commitment to activism and change has led them to pursue careers as journalists. While they will eventually have access to platforms, as they study, they often have few spaces to voice their lived experiences, views, and challenges. In light of these inscrutable realities, Global Voices’ Young Voices series will offer our international, multilingual news platform to highlight the work of young people in our communities. 

In the first edition of this series, we turn our lens to Lagos, Nigeria.  Young people constitute over 17 percent (33.6 million) of Nigeria’s 200 million population. With a median age of 18 years, Nigeria is one of the most youthful populations in the world. Yet, 13.1 percent of Nigerian youth are unemployed. Nigeria’s federally funded public universities have been closed down since February 14, 2022, due to the “total and comprehensive” strike embarked by university teachers. The 2020 Nigerian youth-led #EndSARS protests, though primarily a movement against police brutality was equally an outrage against the general despondency in the country. Some these injustices still persists to date. 

In partnership with the School of Media and Communication (SMC), Pan-Atlantic University (PAU) in Lagos, Nigeria, the Young Voices series will offer students an opportunity to address pressing issues in their communities — everything from female genital mutilation and political corruption, to city planning issues and food insecurity.

This initiative was conceptualized and made possible by Dr. Nwachukwu Egbunike, Global Voices’ Co-Editor for Sub-Saharan Africa and a faculty member at Pan-Atlantic University. Egbunike is using his teaching position, expertise in writing, and over a decade of scholarship and practice experience in digital rights, to engage his Nigerian SMC undergraduates as the initial Young Voices cohort. This is in line with PAU-SMC’s education philosophy, which encourages faculty to maintain industry engagement in order to be able to transmit both conceptual and practice-based education to their students. 

The stories featured in this series cover a wide array of topics and angles, ranging from human interest stories, digital rights, and the tragic-comic complexities of daily life in Lagos. This mosaic gives a unique snapshot of what life is truly like for young people in Nigeria — a perspective and insight that is often overlooked in the global mainstream media landscape.

Find the stories in our Young Voices series below.

Stories about Young Voices: Nigeria