The Youth, Democracy & Social Justice in Cote d’Ivoire

24 Pages Posted: 2 Apr 2019

Date Written: March 10, 2019


This paper lies within the framework of the analysis of the quest for social justice the youth in Cote d’Ivoire is engaged in since the late 1980s. Its purpose is to understand the meaning of the action of the youth claiming to the State their advancement in the Ivorian society. In their relationship to the state, the youth have included the project of not only actively participating in the political debate and action but above all, enjoying the right to paid employment or self-employment.

Since the 1990s, like most African States, Cote d’Ivoire has initiated a largely youth-led democratisation process. The liberalisation of the political market by President Félix Houphouët Boigny on April 30, 1990 paves the way to a set of socio-political claims demanding the advent of a democracy able to create the conditions of their fulfilment. The execution of this integration project went on until the 19 September; 2002 military-political crisis was triggered. The change in political regime does not seem to work in favour of the achievement of this project. The conquest of the integration takes many forms.

All works as if the youth in Cote d’Ivoire pursue an unrealistic hope relatively to the socio-political environment of the country. The poverty rate which was at 10% in 1985 went up to 32.3% in 1993 and then 36.8% in 1995 to set at 33.6% in 1998 (UNDP 1999). The endemic crisis hardly spares the youth. According to the INS, unemployment rate in 1998 was 4.6% of the working population and hits over 25% of the youth from school training cycle (primary and secondary) against 13% of higher education graduates who cannot find employment. This finding raises a fundamental question: how does the Ivorian state proceed for the youth to benefit equitably from the socioeconomic development that was given an impulse since the advent of a democracy the establishment of which they contributed to?

Based on surveys conducted among the youth in politico-civilian and paramilitary organisations, as well as the militia, we try to appreciate in a diachronic perspective the participation of the youth in the democratic process in Cote d’Ivoire. Finally, the article describes and analyses the mechanisms of resource transfer to the youth. This will make it possible to apprehend the dialectics between the democratic ideal and the practice of social justice in favour of the youth category.

Keywords: Côte d'Ivoire, Democracy, Youth, Social Justice, Ideologies, Violence

Suggested Citation

N'tchabétien Oumar, Silué, The Youth, Democracy & Social Justice in Cote d’Ivoire (March 10, 2019). Available at SSRN: or

Silué N'tchabétien Oumar (Contact Author)

Université Alassane Ouattara ( email )

Ivory Coast (Cote D'ivoire)

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
PlumX Metrics