Pope Francis urges prayers for young people in Africa in new video


The Holy Father prays that young Africans be given access to an education and to quality employment.

In the latest Pope Video, a project of The Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network, the Holy Father has asked that young Africans be given access to an education and to quality employment without the need to emigrate. In the video, Pope Francis also highlights the continent’s true wealth: young people.

“Let us pray that young people in Africa may have access to education and work in their own countries,” the Pope said. “They should be able to chose between letting themselves be overcome by difficulty, or transforming the difficulty into an opportunity,” he added.

According to 2017 statistics from the International Labor Organization, 12.9% of African youth aged 15 to 24 in Sub-Saharan Africa are unemployed. The statistic rises to 28.8% for the same population in North African countries. The UNESCO estimates that in 2017 nearly 60% of African youth aged 15 to 17 were not attending school.

“If young people don’t have the possibility of an education, what future can they have?” the Pope asks.

This monthly prayer intention focuses on the challenges facing young people in the world, a topic which will be discussed at the upcoming Synod of Bishops in October. The Synod will be held in Rome, October 3-28, with the general theme of “Young People, the Faith and Vocational Discernment.”

Pope Francis has invited young people to the upcoming Synod, explaining how his objective “is to accompany and guide young people along their path toward maturity, helping them to know how to discern, and to understand the paths that separate good from evil so they can successfully carry out their plans for their lives.”

“In order to build a future of hope, it’s fundamental that all young Africans find opportunities in their own countries. The Pope has said it many times, and this time, he is saying it in his monthly prayer intention: education and employment are the pillars for young Africans to be able to transform the situation in their country,” emphasized Fr. Frédéric Fornos, SJ, international director of the Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network and of the Eucharistic Youth Movement. “Our youth branch, the EYM, is present in 20 African countries, at the service of integral formation, so that in addition to intellectual formation, they can receive spiritual, community, and apostolic formation,” he added.