A millennial generally refers to someone born in the 1980s up to the early 2000s. That generation is supposed characterised by a more liberal upbringing compared to their parents’ generation, heavy interaction with technology and high expectations of what they will achieve in life.
I wondered how much of this definition applies to this generation in Africa. Did so many African parents become more liberal or did they largely sustain the upbringing they were used to? Are they all interacting with technology or are they more conscious of the cost of funding that interaction? Does the African millennial expect to change the world or hope that they will at least change their own outcomes?
Now I have to be honest, I don’t like the use of the word ‘Africa’ as I believe it is an overgeneralisation of a complex continent – 54 countries and over 1 billion people. I also don’t like using it because it is seen for what is missing than for what there is. Personally, the word ‘Africa’ for me represents a land of prosperity that I pray its own people will discover.
So I came to the conclusion that loosely calling this younger generation in Africa millennials is ok as long as we recognise their unique African experience. That for them cultural norms of their position in society are still relevant. They are curious about technology but do not all have unlimited access to use technology. And yes, some of them want to change the world but others are still looking to leadership to create structures and pathways for them.
With this background, over the next few days I will share more from the talk. In the mean time, are you an African millennial? What do you think defines you most? What are your hopes for your generation?
Share your thoughts in the comments below with all of us.
#TheBoldNewNormal – A Millennial Career Interaction