Global Agenda Council on Africa 2012-2013
The outlook on Africa is optimistic and its narrative is changing from a developing continent in need of aid to one offering opportunity for growth and prosperity. Many African countries are seeking emerging-economy status within the next two decades, which will be achievable through sustained double-digit growth. These high aspirations call for new governance models to capitalize on opportunities and address challenges. Africa is working to identify quality-growth models that can increase competitiveness and employment, while reducing poverty. Concurrently, Africa’s growing population and swelling consumer base is becoming an attractive market for regional and global companies. The ongoing commodity boom also offers the opportunity for Africa to transform its natural resource wealth into much-needed infrastructure and basic development. In addition, Africa needs to contend with a changing global landscape incorporating an economic slowdown among traditional trading partners, and an upsurge in economic interest among the leading emerging economies. As Africa remains vulnerable to global risks, including the global financial crisis and climate change, these changes call for new economic and social partnerships.
- Africa is home to seven of the 10 fastest growing economies, yet 70% of the working-age population is unemployed.
- 40 countries in Africa are now involved in exploration for or production of minerals and oil and gas.
- 65% of Africa's +1 billion people (expected to reach 2 billion by 2050) are below the age of 35, making Africa the most youthful continent.
- Only a quarter of Africans have access to electricity compared with 50% of Asians and 80% of people in the Middle East and Latin America.
- The number of mobile subscribers doubled from 2008 to 2010 to more than 500 million.
“We are commodity dependent and vulnerable to the shocks of the global economy. To keep momentum, we have to manage external shocks; our buffers are weaker than in 2008. We need to go from economic growth to economic transformation and ensure growth is broad-based. We cannot remove inequalities completely, but must ensure the policy mix extends growth to the majority of the population.”
Donald Kaberuka, President, African Development Bank (AfDB), Tunis
“If you look at the real innovators, they are the youth. Young people are born with technology; they understand it and are comfortable with it. They can leverage the technology and innovate. Africa needs innovation that is focused on inclusiveness. Innovation based on mobile phone technology will shape Africa’s transformation.”
Omobola Johnson, Minister of Communications Technology of Nigeria
World Economic Forum on Africa
8-10 May 2013
Cape Town, South Africa
Annual Meetings of the AfDB Group
27-31 May 2013
Building on the work of last year, the Council will continue to focus on the following three areas:
- Driving Value Added: Unlocking New Market Opportunities in Agriculture and Extractive Industries; dimensions include contract management, regional infrastructure development and revenue sharing
- Delivering Human Capital Development through Public Private Partnerships (PPPs); dimensions include education, entrepreneurship, health, job creation, poverty reduction, skills and leadership development
- Scaling up Innovative Grassroots Technologies; dimensions include budget transparency, climate change, democracy, media and mobile banking
In addition, the Council will advise the Forum’s Africa Team on the programme of the upcoming World Economic Forum on Africa in Cape Town.
Research Analyst: Patrick McGee, Knowledge Manager, Global Agenda Councils, email@example.com
Council Manager: Amrote Abdella, Associate Director, Africa, Global Leadership Fellow firstname.lastname@example.org
Forum Lead: Elsie Kanza, Director, Head of Africa, email@example.com