Youth Radicalization in Africa: A Comparative Analysis of Radicalized Groups

Rono Kiplangat Kenneth, Christopher Omusula


A lot of efforts are being exerted by world’s governments and other stakeholders to achieve higher rates of Accessibility to Education. Militia groups the world over have recruited and radicalized the potential school going children into their militant outfits to either fight in battlefields, or use them as spies or suicide bombers denying them opportunities of accessing education that would have been very valuable in their development. These groups abduct torture and kill victims, cause untold sufferings of their captives. In Africa, BokoHaramu in Nigeria opposes modern formal education and hinders the youth from accessing benefits associated with formal education they kidnap students from schools, women from market places, rape and force them into marriages. Mungiki in Kenya has caused school enrolment in central Kenya to drop. Their forced initiations into the groups, doctrines and practice or threat of Female Genital Mutilations, the taking of drugs and the insecurity caused by the sect members are the major challenges the Kenyan Nation is facing as a threat to realization of the objectives of vision 2030 in its former Central Province. The groups, in their teachings, associate formal education with neo-colonialism or western imperialism. Al-Shabab enforces its own harsh interpretation of sharia law, prohibiting various types of entertainment, such as movies and music, the sale of khat, smoking, the shaving of beards, and many other “un-Islamic” activities. This paper examines historical and Philosophical backgrounds of some of the militia groups in Africa such as Al-Shabab in Somalia, Boko Haram in Nigeria and Mungiki in Kenya. Highlighting modes of recruitment, radicalization and how school aged youths are utilized by militia groups. The paper argues that use of strategies such as military force in Nigeria on Boko Haram has failed to bear any fruits. It suggests that skewed distribution of national educational funds could be an impetus to forces of radicalization of youth. Therefore, this paper suggests strategies that can be used to counter the recruitment and radicalization of youths in an effort to improve Educational Access and Equity in Africa.


Educational, Militia Groups, Radicalization, Recruitment, School-aged Youth

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