Realising the demographic dividend for Africa
2 April 2013

 The demographic dividend (DD) represents a golden opportunity for many developing countries to experience accelerated economic growth as a result of population changes.

Africa in particular is ideally positioned to:

  1. Create the opportunity for a DD and,
  2. Develop an environment conducive to reaping the economic benefits of the DD.

AFIDEP participated in a high-level panel on “Realizing the Demographic Dividend for Africa,” organised under the auspices of the 6th Joint Annual meetings of the Africa Union Commission (AUC) Conference of Ministers of Economy and Finance and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) Conference of African Ministers of Finance, Planning and Economic Development. The event was held in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire from 21 ““ 26th March 2013.

The aim of the conference was to discuss how Africa can ensure that it harnesses the DD. The high-level panel of ministers and international experts, and the interactive session focused on discussing the necessary steps and policy reforms to guarantee that the continent does not forego this opportunity.

In the report “˜Creating and Capitalizing on the Demographic Dividend for Africasponsored by UNECA and the AUC and with contributions from AFIDEP, three themes are explored to provide clarity on the different components at play to attain the DD, and emphasize the nature and urgency of the investments needed to reap the economic benefits of the DD in Africa.

  • First, the theoretical concepts behind the DD are explained, including the causes and consequences of creating and capitalizing on the DD.
  • Secondly, Africa’s potential for harnessing the DD and the shortcomings the continent must address are delineated.
  • Thirdly, policy recommendations are presented to address the imminent challenges from Africa’s young population in the short term, create an opportunity for the DD and generate the benefits of the DD in the long term.

Members who contributed to the report participated in the Abidjan DD event jointly organised by UNECA, AUC, the African Development Bank, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, Johns Hopkins University and other development partners.

The demographic dividend is increasingly embraced in international development circles and is poised to become an enduring framework for Africa’s future economic and development agenda.

See various policy briefs on the demographic dividend below.

Africa and the challenge of realising the demographic dividend

Beyond the first dividend: sustaining the second demographic dividend



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