Tanzania has a population of 57 million, of which 63% are under the age of 25 years. In the next two decades this is likely to double. The median age is just 17 years.
This startling demographic presents new challenges for one of the poorest countries in the world. The education system is at breaking point as it tries to accommodate the growing demand for school places – it is not unusual for class sizes to exceed 70 students. Despite record numbers of students, schools struggle to provide a high-quality education, with the poorest students – including an estimated 1.3 million orphans due to HIV alone – at greatest disadvantage.
Young people that succeed in their education, including many university graduates, continue to struggle to break the shackles of poverty. Every year, 1 million Tanzanians reach working age, but the economy only creates 70,000 formal jobs. The majority of young people remain out of work, with many resorting to informal jobs or subsistence farming.
But a burgeoning youth population also presents many opportunities. Young Tanzanians are very proud of their ‘youth’, which they associate with being full of energy and their position as the nation’s future workforce.
Kijana Kwanza aims to harness this potential to broaden the horizons of young people in Tanzania and help them realise their aspirations. We support children and young people to complete their academic studies, access vocational training, acquire essential life skills, find work or setup their own business enterprise.
Throughout, our approach is to put young people first – treating each young person as an individual with his or her own ambitions. We believe in holistic development, combining education and training with a broad range of skills that help create an engaged and prosperous generation of young Tanzanians.
We invite you to be part of Kijana Kwanza’s story.