After a tumultuous 2016, sub-Saharan Africa is looking toward 2017 in the spirit of hope and opportunity. Technology continues to transform the continent, commodity-exporting countries are diversifying, and urban planning and city growth are being harnessed in ways that promote industrial development and improved livelihoods. In addition, with millions of young Africans entering the labor market, job creation remains a top agenda item. Simultaneously, potential threats to the region loom large: Climate change puts many parts of the region at risk for disasters such as floods or droughts; many governments continue to face corruption and violence; and global political uncertainty complicates peacekeeping efforts, aid disbursement, and overall investment. To explore these critical trends, the Africa Growth Initiative (AGI) at Brookings has compiled thoughts and recommendations from leading experts on these important issues in its annual Foresight Africa report.
On January 12, AGI hosted its annual Foresight Africa event featuring a panel of leading Africa experts. The panel offered their insights on these vital regional trends and provided recommendations to national governments, regional organizations, multilateral institutions, and civil society on how to contend with these priorities in the year ahead.
The event follows the release of the new Foresight Africa report, a collection of issue briefs, viewpoints, and infographics on the major issues for Africa in 2017.
“The 21st century has revalued these small geographies. That’s what the 21st century demands,” Katz said, noting that these days, “[w]e aren’t innovating in isolated business parks” in the suburbs.