Young people make up a significant proportion of Nigeria’s growing population and this demographic dividend could benefit the Nigerian economy if the potential of this young population is harnessed. They also hold the key to Nigeria’s development, but for this to happen, investment in their sexual health must be intentional. This is referred to as Demographic Dividend as it involves harnessing and gaining from the potentials of the large youth population.
The African Union (AU) developed a roadmap that can help member countries benefit from their large young workforce. The roadmap is focused on four areas of health and wellbeing; education and skills development; employment and entrepreneurship and good governance.
The health and wellbeing roadmap requires that young people be able to make informed decisions about their sexual and reproductive health. A youth-friendly clinic located inside the Kuje General Hospital, in a suburb of Abuja and run by young people is defying all odds to provide quality sexual and reproductive health information and services to the local community. Action Health Incorporated (AHI) established the clinic in 2012 as a safe space for young people in the Kuje community with support from MacArthur Foundation. AHI handed over the clinic to the Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA) and the clinic has continued to be run by young people, despite challenges.
This is their story.