The new year 2020 marks the beginning of a promising decade for Africa. Through at least the first half of the decade, economic growth across Africa will continue to outperform that of other regions, with the continent continuing to be home to seven of the world’s 10 fastest-growing economies. Collective action among African and global policymakers to improve the livelihoods of all under the blueprint of the sustainable development goals and the African Union’s Agenda 2063 is creating a shared energy and excitement around Africa’s potential. With business environments improving, regional integration centered around the African Continental Free Trade Agreement progressing, and the transformational technologies of the Fourth Industrial Revolution spreading, never before has the region been better primed for trade, investment, and mutually beneficial partnerships. The recent, unprecedented interest of an increasingly diversified group of external partners to engage with Africa highlights this potential.
Despite the continent’s promise, though, obstacles to success linger, as job creation still has not caught up with the growing youth labor force, gaps in good and inclusive governance remain, and climate change as well as state fragility threaten to reverse the hard-won gains of past decades.
The Africa Growth Initiative (AGI) at Brookings explores these trends and features diverse expert viewpoints in Foresight Africa, its annual flagship report. Foresight Africa 2020 is a special edition focusing on the top priorities for the continent over the next decade: 2020-2030.
On January 15, AGI hosted a Foresight Africa launch featuring a high-level panel of leading Africa experts to offer insights on regional trends along with recommendations for national governments, regional organizations, multilateral institutions, the private sector, and civil society actors as they forge ahead in 2020.
After the program, the panelists answered questions from the audience.