Home > Past Annual Meetings > 2014 Annual Meetings > Programme > Cashing in on the Demographic Dividend

Cashing in on the Demographic Dividend


Moderator:  Ms. Tumi Makgabo, former Presenter, CNN


  • Hon. Badr Eldien Mahmoud Abbas, Minister of Finance and National Economy, Sudan
  • S. E. M. Jonas Gbian, Ministre de l’Economie et des Finances, Benin
  • Hon. Alexander Bwalya Chikwanda, Minister of Finance, Zambia
  • Hon. Maria Kiwanuka, Minister of Finance, Planning and Economic Development, Uganda
  • S. E. Madame Niale Kaba, Ministre de l’Economie et des Finances, Côte d’Ivoire
  • Ms. Rose Gahiru, Minister of Basic Education, Secondary Education, Vocational Training and
  • Literacy, Burundi

Rapporteur:  Ms. Agnes Soucat, Director, Human & Social Development Department, AfDB


Africa needs new critical skills in science technology, engineering and medicine to improve productivity, raise the employability of graduates and foster enterprise creation. It is the world’s youngest region with a youth bulge, its second fastest growing continent, and will have the world’s largest workforce by 2040. Africa however lives a paradox of rapid economic growth while most young Africans aged 15–24 years are unemployed or underemployed. The labour market distortion marked by rising skills mismatch, low productivity in the informal sector, unemployment and underemployment against a rising youth population constitutes a generation risk. Moving up the value chain to more efficient value-added production and innovation-driven economies is essential to increasing and sustaining growth that will result in new jobs and opportunities to enable the continent cash in on the demographic dividend. Achieving this will depend on Africa’s capability to rapidly develop appropriate skills, leveraging on innovative technologies, to innovate and apply the relevant technology to industries and productive sectors.