Africa is a continent full of opportunities. The continent shows solid economic fundamentals, democratic stability and institutional quality that represent new possibilities for businesses and investment. This adds to the unstoppable demographic dynamics and the growing urbanisation, which impel it as a space of accelerated economic growth.
With a projected population of 2,400 million in 30 years, the region will represent in less than a hundred years 40% of the world’s population working age. Meanwhile, the continent is experiencing a rapid process of urbanisation. The demand for investment in sectors such as infrastructure, energy or telecommunications services is on the rise. This adds to a very young population, with an average age of 18 years, which is well educated and ready to make the leap to the labor market. Furthermore, the African middle class is the fastest growing in the world and has doubled in the last twenty years.
Investment can capitalise on these phenomena, which must be geared towards socio-economic development. Many national economies have GDP growth rates of over 6%. All this is happening, against the stereotype of permanent volatility, in an environment in which countries have strengthened their democracies and business environments. Countries such as South Africa, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Angola and Senegal must act as "anchor countries" as they have the economic and demographic capacity to create opportunities for Africans on their own continent, and to become exporters of stability and growth for their regions.
In addition, Africa is a continent on the move. 36 million people migrated in 2017. Contrary to Western perception, the vast majority of migrations are intra-African: three out of four stay within the continent. Creating absorption capacity at poles of migratory attraction should be a priority in the continent.
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The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation of the Spanish Government and the Navarra Center for International Development are organising a day within the Agenda 2030 of the Spanish Government for the dissemination of the III Plan África, aimed at better understanding the current African reality and the role that the Spanish private sector can play. The event’s Keynote Speaker is Stefan Dercon, Director of the Center for the Study of African Economies at the University of Oxford and former chief economist of the Department of International Development of the United Kingdom. The rest of the day will be divided into three round tables: Quality of Institutions, Cities and the demographic dividend and Is Africa 'Open for Business'? Each one will have four renowned speakers in the African panorama and will be moderated by a n experienced journalist on the topic and region.