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Capitalizing on Africa’s Demographic Dividend

With as many as 20 million young people poised to join the workforce every year for the next three decades, Africa has an opportunity to shift the balance of local and global growth with a purpose: jobs. But it is far from inevitable that it will do so.

LOMÉ – Africa is home to the world’s youngest and fastest-growing population. With as many as 20 million young people poised to join the workforce every year for the next three decades, the continent has an opportunity to shift the balance of local and global growth with a purpose: jobs. But it is far from inevitable that it will do so.

For African countries to capitalize on this demographic dividend, the future workforce must be educated, trained, and have adequate employment opportunities. Putting all the pieces in place will not be easy.

These are uncertain times for the global economy. Trade tensions between the United States and China are threatening the integrity of global value chains, and Britain’s looming exit from the European Union has the potential to cause even more disruption. The International Monetary Fund’s October forecast warns that as historic economic drivers stall, global growth this year and next could fall to 3.7%, a decline of 0.2 percentage points from previous estimates.

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