'Covid has created some other opportunities': cautious optimism among young African graduates navigating life in a time of pandemic

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dc.date.accessioned 2022-08-17T12:28:10Z
dc.date.available 2022-08-17T12:28:10Z
dc.date.issued 2021-06-29 en
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11910/16076
dc.description.abstract This paper reports on the various impacts the Coronavirus pandemic has had on a cohort of recent African university graduates currently enrolled in a longitudinal cohort study and interviewed in June 2020. The study follows a cohort of 122 young graduates over five years and interviews them annually. This paper reports on the first year of these interviews and focuses on their response to the question, 'how has Covid affected your life and plans' development. The paper offers insights into the vigilant and expectant experiences of these young graduates located in multiple countries on the African continent and abroad. We briefly discuss their agile, adaptive and agential reaction to the pandemic as a moment to aspire, act and seek opportunity. Cautiously optimistic, these graduates describe the various navigational capacities or contextual formative abilities that they have adopted to course correct in the wake of a global pandemic. The idea of navigational capacities acknowledges that adversity, change, and movement are a constant feature of the landscape of youth in Africa. Thus, developing flexible capacities - rather than hard skills, strategies of oppositional resistance, rigid assets, or only adaptive resilience - is a more helpful goal for youth. The COVID-19 pandemic is a completely new social, political and economic context in which African youth live. While still in an experimental stage, the idea of navigational capacities, appears to offer promise beyond that of other youth development frameworks that put resistance, resources or resilience at its centre, frameworks that rely on young peoples innate ability to endure ongoing adversity. All three approaches to youth development assets, resilience and resistance emerged from the Global North. They engage insufficiently with the structural conditions and systems that suffocate young peoples ability to flourish. In the absence of family resources, national safety nets, and individual exceptionalism, these approaches have limited use for the Global South. This paper applies the notion of navigational capacities to the way in which they experience the Covid pandemic, and shows how these youth have taken advantage of the opportunities that Covid has created for growth and survival in the areas of entrepreneurial ventures, new work and study opportunities, as well as in their personal and relational worlds. en
dc.format.medium Print en
dc.subject GRADUATES en
dc.subject COVID-19 en
dc.subject YOUTH en
dc.title 'Covid has created some other opportunities': cautious optimism among young African graduates navigating life in a time of pandemic en
dc.type Journal Article en
dc.description.version Y en
dc.ProjectNumber N/A en
dc.Volume June en
dc.BudgetYear 2021/22 en
dc.ResearchGroup Inclusive Economic Development en
dc.SourceTitle Youth Voice Journal en
dc.ArchiveNumber 12037 en
dc.PageNumber Online en
dc.outputnumber 11189 en
dc.bibliographictitle Mahali, A., Swartz, S. & Fadiji, A.W. (2021) 'Covid has created some other opportunities': cautious optimism among young African graduates navigating life in a time of pandemic. Youth Voice Journal. June:Online. http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11910/16076 en
dc.publicationyear 2021 en
dc.contributor.author1 Mahali, A. en
dc.contributor.author2 Swartz, S. en
dc.contributor.author3 Fadiji, A.W. en

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