What is life like, and what does the future hold, for those living in African countries, in which the majority of the population is under 30? Life in West Africa is marked by a multitude of contrasts. There are different cultures and religions, conflicts between tradition and western modernization and a striking gulf between rich and poor.
Many villages are now deserted, as living conditions there have worsened. Education and employment prospects are so poor that many young people are heading for the cities in search of a better life. They are leaving ancient traditions and values behind them; the elderly, with their wealth of life experience, no longer have any influence. But the cities have no more room for this influx of people without jobs. Illegal migration is the last hope for those trying to flee the reality of life in their own country. For many Africans, Europe seems to be a paradise with apparently enough money and work for everyone. For some, marriage is the best way to get a visa. Those who remain in the cities spend their days smoking 'African tobacco' and dreaming of a modern, affluent life.
Three month I travelled through Guinea, Senegal and Gambia to see what daily life is like for many young West Africans.