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The African demographic dividend: can it be harnessed to avoid rising food insecurity?

22 Mar 2018

In the period between 1950 and 2050, demographic growth is expected to be most pronounced in Asia. Over the course of the 21st century, however, demographic projections suggest that most of the world’s population growth will occur in Africa. In the century between 1950 and 2050, the Asian population will have grown by a factor of 3.7. By 2050, the population of Asia is expected to have begun to decline. Over the course of the 21st century, however, the African population is projected to grow by a factor of 5.18 – a significantly faster rate than Asia.

A youthful population, if it is harnessed effectively, could see Africa make a larger impact on the global economy than Asia did in the latter part of the 20th century and the early 21stcentury. Favourable demographics alone will not ensure that Africa reaps the rewards of its enormous economic potential, however. Implementing strong urban and agricultural policies in an environment that encourages robust, transparent and effective governance, will also be vital.

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