Andrew Burton is an honorary research associate of the British Institute in Eastern Africa, currently based in Addis Ababa. His publications include African Underclass: Urbanisation, Crime & Colonial Order in Dar es Salaam and the coedited volume Dar es Salaam: Histories from an Emerging African Metropolis.
Contemporary Africa is demographically characterized above all else by its youthfulness. In East Africa the median age of the population is now a striking 17.5 years, and more than 65 percent of the population is age 24 or under. This situation has attracted growing scholarly attention, resulting in an important and rapidly expanding literature on the position of youth in African societies.While