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African Growth

The Future of Work in Africa : Harnessing the Potential of Digital Technologies for All

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Thursday, August 1, 2019
Abstract in English: 
This companion report to the World Development Report (WDR) 2019: The Changing Nature of Work addresses the key themes of creating productive jobs and addressing the needs of those left behind. It builds on and contextualizes some of WDR 2019’s main messages to key specificities of the sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) region. It focuses on how global trends especially the adoption of digital technologies (DTs) may change the nature of work in SSA by creating new opportunities and challenges. The report is structured around three main issues that will shape the future of work in Africa, namely the human capital needs of a young and rapidly growing largely low-skilled labor force, the prevalence of informal workers and enterprises and the social protection policies to mitigate risks resulting from disruptions to labor markets. The report highlights important unanswered policy questions where new research, supplemented by new data, could yield learnings with high policy payoffs in the SSA context.
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188
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African futures: Horizon 2025

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Wednesday, September 20, 2017
Abstract in English: 
If Sub-Saharan Africa’s future had to be encapsulated in a single word, it would be transformation. In recent years the continent has undergone significant economic, socio-political, and technological transformations, a process which is likely to accelerate over the coming decades. While it would be an overstatement to proclaim that the future will be African, there are strong indications that the global importance of the continent is set to rise – and not only as a source of risk factors spilling over from poverty and instability. By 2045, approximately a quarter of the world’s population will be African. Looking ahead, there is also the potential for Africa’s economic growth to outpace the global average. The expansion of foreign direct investment (FDI), which today already outstrips aid, could drive further integration of African countries in the world economy. The diversification of Africa’s relationship with external partners – which now not only include traditional Western partners such as the EU, but also Asian, Middle Eastern and Gulf countries – will also contribute to increasing Africa’s prominence in the global arena.
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84
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The Future of Jobs and Skills in Africa Preparing the Region for the Fourth Industrial Revolution

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Wednesday, May 3, 2017
Abstract in English: 
With more than 60% of its population under the age of 25, sub-Saharan Africa is already the world’s youngest region today – and, by 2030, will be home to more than one-quarter of the world’s under-25 population. As this young population, the best-educated and globally connected the continent has ever had, enters the world of work, the region has a demographic opportunity. But the region can only leverage this opportunity by unlocking latent talent and preparing its people for the future of work.
The Executive Briefing – drawing on the insight and project work of the Forum’s System Initiative on Shaping the Future of Education, Gender and Work – aims to serve as a practical guide for leaders from business, government, civil society and the education sector, and finds that the region’s capacity to adapt to the requirements of future jobs leaves little space for complacency. While a number of African economies are relatively under-exposed to labour market disruptions at present, this picture is changing rapidly. This window of opportunity must be used by the region’s leaders to prepare for tomorrow.
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28
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Foresight Africa 2017

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Publication date: 
Tuesday, January 10, 2017
Abstract in English: 
The world is facing a major shift in demographics. In fact, by 2050, Africa will be home to a billion young people. With so many of the world’s youth concentrated in Africa, countries have the advantage of large working-age populations, and could be looking to capitalize on a “demographic dividend.”

But the economic contribution of young people will depend on the skills they possess, placing a premium on education. Unfortunately, many countries in Africa are struggling to educate their current youth, and projections in coming decades predict millions more will be left behind. According to the latest UNESCO Global Education Monitoring Report, based on current trends, sub-Saharan Africa will not achieve universal secondary school completion until after 2080. On top of the issue of schooling completion, millions of young people who do complete school still lack even basic literacy and numeracy skills, and recent estimates from the Education Commission find that more than half the world’s youth in 2030 will not meet even low levels of proficiency.
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112
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African futures 2050- the next forty years, ISS monograph

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Wednesday, January 26, 2011
Abstract in English: 
In this monograph the Institute for Security Studies and the Pardee Center for International Futures provide an extensive analysis of the projected course of African development to 2050. Combining the deep and wide knowledge of Africa within the ISS with extensive use of the IFs modelling system, this discussion goes beyond past work in a number of ways. It looks across most major issue arenas: demographics, economics, sociopolitical change, the environment and human development itself, including health and education. It explores further into our future than perhaps any other extensive study of African futures has ever done. While not pushing forward specific policy initiatives, it provides a context within which those who pursue sustainable human development can consider policies.
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66
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Foresight Africa: Top Priorities for the Continent in 2016

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Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Sunday, January 10, 2016
Abstract in English: 
Africa is at a tipping point in 2016. Despite all the success the continent has achieved in recent years, new and old dangers—economic, political, and security-related—threaten to derail its progress. With sound policymaking, effective leadership, and enough foresight, however—Africa can meet and defeat these challenges as well as the many more to come.

In this year's Foresight Africa, the Africa Growth Initiative and its colleagues discuss six overarching themes that place Africa at this tipping point and give their view on what they perceive to be key areas for intervention to keep Africa on its current rising trajectory. This year's format is different from years past, encompassing viewpoints from high-level policymakers, academics, and practitioners, as well as utilizing visuals to better illustrate the paths behind and now in front of Africa.
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110
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African Futures 2050

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Saturday, January 1, 2011
Abstract in English: 
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?
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66
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At the Center of Africa’s Transformation: Strategy for 2013–2022

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Friday, November 1, 2013
Abstract in English: 
Africa is now the world’s second fastest-growing continent. In this decade of seismic shifts in the global economy, Africa has defied the pessimists, accelerating its economic pulse and seeing significant improvements in its Human Development Indicators. But these positive developments have been tempered by a crisis in jobs, youth unemployment and growing inequality. These are now the challenges. Growth must bring jobs and opportunities for all. That will happen if growth is sustained and leads to the structural change and economic transformation that will enable the continent to join global value chains. It will do this by closing the infrastructure gap, speeding up economic integration, dealing with conflicts old and new, and developing human capital.
This is what makes the next decade so decisive. This is what makes this new Bank Strategy for 2013–2022 so vital.
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44
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