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Currently, 50 per cent of the people on the African continent are under 18. By 2030 there will be 170 million more children and young people between the Mediterranean and the Cape of Good Hope. We need to invest in the future of these people, according to the authors of the study “Generation 2030: Africa 2.0”.

In 2050, 40 per cent of all young people under 18 will live in Africa, rising to half by 2100. The world needs to invest in this young future so that Africa can cash in on its demographic dividend, says Sandie Blanchet.

She is the head of the UNICEF office in Brussels, the organisation which produced the study “Generation 2030: Africa 2.0”. She presented the study in November 2017 to the EU Committee on Development, at the start of the EU’s African Week, and one week before the 5th EU Africa Summit at the end of November in Abidjan in the Côte d’Ivoire.

The demographic dividend is the potential of a young population living in good health and stable conditions that can bring vast growth to the entire continent. If the programmes fail, there will be growing poverty and pressure to migrate. News coming from the African continent is often bad, but Sandie Blanchet also has positive stories to tell.

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