Africa is home to about 1.3 billion people and its population is expected to double by 2050 — a mere three decades away. More than half of this population will be between 18 and 35.
This has been described as a great demographic opportunity that is unique to Africa. While the average age in Europe is 45; here in Africa, we have hundreds of millions of people in their 20s. This large youth population means that we have a huge market in terms of consumption, services and labor.
However, for us to benefit from the demographic dividends that a massive youth population offers, we must make the right investments in quality higher education and create the right conditions and opportunities for entrepreneurship and employment.
In this regard, yesterday, I spoke on ‘The African Value Chain: Harnessing Local Talent and Opportunity’ at Georgetown University’s African Business Conference (#GTABC2018) in Washington D.C.
In my remarks, I emphasized that Nigeria’s youth demographic is surging forward and our anticipated youth-driven economic growth will be unprecedented and unbeatable, if we can harness the latent talent of our growing population by empowering and educating our young people for the opportunities that lie ahead.