Foresight Africa: Top Priorities for the Continent in 2014

As Africa’s position in the world continues to grow and evolve in 2014, the Brookings Africa Growth Initiative continues its tradition of asking its experts and colleagues to identify what they consider to be the key issues for Africa in the coming year. Join the conversation on Twitter using #ForesightAfrica and tell us what you think are the critical issues Africa must pay attention to in 2014.


Pushing the Employment Frontiers for Africa’s Rural and Urban Youth


John McArthur argues that a top priority for African policymakers should be to leverage the continent’s growing youth population since the absolute number of working age Africans will grow by around 14 million next year alone, leaving many low- and high-skilled workers without any source of income on an increasingly difficult labor market.

Read the brief (PDF) | Read the related blog post


The Not-So-Jolly Roger: Dealing with Piracy off the Coast of Somalia and in the Gulf of Guinea


Vanda Felbab-Brown explores policy solutions to the dangerous and costly threat of maritime piracy and its root causes, which include government failure and widespread poverty.

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International Justice: The International Criminal Court and Africa


John Mukum Mbaku examines the role of the International Criminal Court in Africa as the African Union asks its member countries to implement a policy of non-compliance and non-cooperation with the court.

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Africa’s Capital Market Appetite: Challenges and Opportunities for Financing Rapid and Sustained Growth


Vera Songwe contends that access to international capital markets shows great potential for Africa’s growth, but big obstacles such as growing deficits and a lack of transparency could stand in the way.

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The Post-2015 Development Agenda: What Are the Priorities For Africa?


Haroon Bhorat discusses the post-2015 global development agenda as it relates to Africa, and emphasizes the importance of job creation, good governance and private sector engagement to promote development in the region.

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Leap-frogging in African Agriculture: The Case of Genetically Modified Crops


Calestous Juma and Katherine Gordon argue that biotechnology has the potential to exponentially raise Africa’s agricultural production, increase food security, drive economic growth and save African farmers millions of dollars.

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Meeting the Demand for African-led, Internationally Supported Peace Interventions


Lesley Anne Warner calls for regional and sub-regional organizations in Africa to better prepare their troops for rapid deployment in responding to escalating conflicts, such as those in Mali and the Central African Republic.

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Shifts in Financing Sustainable Development: How Should Africa Adapt in 2014?


Amadou Sy recommends policies for how Africa can best harness rapidly growing private capital flows for sustainable development as these funds overtake official development assistance.

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Climate Change and Growth in Africa: Challenges and the Way Forward


Temesgen Deressa discusses the devastating effects of climate change in Africa and recommends policies for climate change mitigation and adaption in sub-Saharan Africa, a region heavily dependent on subsistence and rain-fed agriculture for food security and prosperity.

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Harnessing Africa’s Emerging Partnerships


Mwangi Kimenyi examines the role of emerging economies such as India and China in the African development agenda and argues that African countries need to be more proactive in engaging with these new partners.

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Three Myths about African Industry


John Page addresses three major misconceptions about the nature of industry in Africa that may be holding the continent back from its industrial transformation.

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