Major transitions are rapidly reshaping Africa. Populations are growing substantially and urbanising. Economic growth has accelerated over the last decade. New technologies, including mobile phones and solar cells, are sweeping across the continent. Longstanding confl icts have been or are being addressed. On the broader stage, but with important regional implications, the rise of China, India and other major emerging countries are changing our trading and investment patterns.
Yet major uncertainties face us. How rapidly will we bring communicable diseases under control and advance the education of our citizens? Can Africa diversify its economies and employ its growing populations in manufacturing and services, as well as successfully managing the wealth generated by its raw materials? Will climate change increase pressures on agriculture or will Africa have its own green revolution? How will the continent build the extensive infrastructures that it desperately needs? What will be the quality of our governance? How will external actors, both governments and fi rms, approach and affect Africa?
ORBIS is powered by ESPAS, the European Strategy and Policy Analysis System, a unique inter-institutional project aimed at strengthening the EU's efforts in the crucial area of forward planning. ESPAS brings together the European Commission, the European Parliament, the Secretariat General of the Council of the European Union and the European External Action Service to strengthen the Union's collective administrative capacity to identify and analyse the key trends and challenges, and the resulting policy choices, which are likely to confront Europe and the wider world in the decades ahead.