Sub-Saharan Africa is going through rapid social, political, and economic transformations that have a profound impact on youth. The present review explores trends and outcomes as they relate to education, family formation and sexual and reproductive health and the interrelationships among these areas. It is based on both published and unpublished reports. Over the past 20 years, school enrollment has increased for much of the subcontinent; although the gender gap has narrowed, females remain educationally disadvantaged. Likewise, marriage is occurring later today than a generation ago, posing new challenges of out-of-wedlock births, clandestine abortions, and an increased likelihood of engaging in premarital sex. So, too, although there has been a slowing of the population growth in much of the region, in many countries of sub-Saharan Africa, the population is doubling every 30 years. Although acquired immunodeficiency syndrome is the predominant cause of death among youth, maternal mortality remains a major risk of death for youth-in some countries 600 times greater than that of peers in the industrialized world.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
- Psychiatry and Mental health