According to the World Bank’s Global Economic Prospects, the global economy will further slow down in 2024. In Africa, most countries will continue to face multiple synchronized headwinds, including record high inflation, severe currency depreciations, and heavy debt burdens. And, with 2023 already the hottest year on record, climate change will continue to wreak havoc in parts of the continent.
Despite these obstacles, there are reasons to be cautiously optimistic as Africa is projected to be the second-fastest-growing region in the world in 2024. The continent has the world’s youngest population, thriving through entrepreneurship and innovation. It holds 30% of the world’s natural resources critical for energy transition. These endowments provide unique opportunities for policymakers to address the development challenges facing the continent. Will policymakers capitalize on Africa’s latent assets to achieve sustainable growth at a time of turbulent global tensions and heightened regional and national challenges?
On January 26, the Brookings Africa Growth Initiative launched its flagship report, “Foresight Africa 2024,” covering issues such as development financing, climate change, digital economy, entrepreneurship, trade and regional integration, gender, and governance. The report compiles essays and viewpoints from finance ministers, central bank governors, senior policymakers, private sector leaders, heads of foundations, youths, and scholars.
The launch of this year’s edition of Foresight was followed by a high-level panel discussion of the challenges and opportunities facing the continent.