As my colleague Yomi Kazeem reported in August, Nigeria’s skyrocketing unemployment rate of 27% means there are more than 21.7 million unemployed Nigerians, a figure that exceeds the population of 35 of Africa’s 54 countries. Among young Nigerians aged between 25 and 34, the largest bloc of the labor force, the unemployment rate currently stands even higher, at 30.7%.

By 2050 Nigeria will be the world’s third largest country by population after India and China. Hundreds of millions of young people with little hope for the future is a dangerous prospect for Nigeria, but also dangerous for the world.

In its 60-year history since independence from Britain, Nigeria has often pulled back from the brink, especially since the devastating Biafra civil war (June 1966-January 1970) Some will see the size and frustration of the EndSARS protests as a sign the country is again at a difficult place but a more optimistic view is that Nigeria’s young people are pulling it forward in a more hopeful direction.

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