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Pope Francis’ visit to the DRC and South Sudan

Pope Francis’ recent visit to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and South Sudan marked a significant moment for African Gen Zers. This was his third trip to Africa. He aimed to promote peace, reconciliation, and hope in countries that have suffered from decades of conflict and violence.

Last week, the Pontiff’s three day visit to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and South Sudan came to an end, drawing tens of thousands of people from the two nations to celebrate the historic visit.

The Pope’s visit comes as both nations endure a civil war that has paralyzed developmental and economical efforts. Both DRC and South Sudan have seen a large internal displacement of thousands of people.

In his DRC visit, the Pope met with President Felix Tshisekedi and members of the government, addressing the country’s long-standing issues of poverty, corruption, and political instability.

The Pope’s message of unity and peace was particularly important for the country’s Gen Zers, who make up a large portion of the population and face high levels of violence. The Pope met thousands at the Martyrs’ Stadium in the country’s capital, Kinshasa.

As Africa’s largest country, the DRC’s Gen Z make up more than 60% of the entire population.

One of the major problems facing the country’s youth is conflict. The DRC has experienced decades of violence, which has had a significant impact on the lives of its people.

Instability has spurred fear and reduced opportunities for young people to get involved in social, economic, and political activities.

Corruption and poverty have negatively impacted a generation largely omitted from decision-making processes. From education to electoral processes, there has been a lack of transparency and accountability across the board.

The widespread corruption has contributed to a lack of trust in the government and other major institutions. Pope Francis encouraged the country’s youth to work towards creating a brighter future and to strive for peace and stability.

Similarly, in South Sudan, the Pope’s message of reconciliation was crucial for the country’s youth.

The Pope met with President Salva Kiir and other political leaders, as well as representatives of the country’s various ethnic groups, to encourage dialogue and cooperation.

During his visit, the Pope called on the country’s young people to play a role in creating a better future for themselves and their communities, emphasising that peace and stability are essential for their development.

According to the UN, South Sudan has experienced a civil war that has lasted for several years, leaving thousands dead and millions displaced.

The violence has disrupted the country’s social and economic structures, making it difficult for young people to access basic necessities such as food, education, shelter, and healthcare.

Child recruitment has affected thousands of boys and girls, denying them a quality education.

According to the World Bank statistics, more than 65% of South Sudan’s population live in poverty, making youths particularly vulnerable.

Call for humanitarian assistance by the UN and partners has remained a struggle for decades due to attacks by armed assailants.

A lack of job opportunities exacerbates the problem, making it difficult for Gen Z to be included within the country’s economy.

African youths are often faced with the challenge of navigating complex social and political environments. The Pope’s visit is significant, highlighting the importance of the current generation’s role in shaping the future of the two nations.