What comprises a future-ready Africa? In 2013, the African Union conceived of Agenda 2063 as a plan for the development trajectory of Africa over 50 years. This session examines progress made within existing blueprints that guide Africa’s future and diaspora engagement strategies critical to their realization.
The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic underscores the fragility and inequities of Africa’s healthcare infrastructure. According to the African Development Bank’s Strategy for Quality Health Infrastructure in Africa (2021), only half of the primary healthcare facilities in sub-Saharan Africa have access to clean water and adequate sanitation. The World Economic Forum notes that less than 10% of 1.2 billion people in Africa have been vaccinated compared to 50% of other countries. This historic public health crisis has infused urgency and built momentum in strengthening health systems in Africa.
In 2015, all 54 African countries signed the Paris Agreement to mark their commitment to global climate change actions and have been actively strategizing a path forward, including through the Agenda 2063 vision. Climate change is a leading priority for Africa, with impacts on agriculture and food security across the continent. Other factors, including the worsening food security crisis sparked by the COVID-19 pandemic and catalyzed by the Russian invasion of Ukraine, continue to pose challenges for families and communities as they endure shortages and a lack of affordable food access.
Despite advancements in educational innovations, the need for a quality education is higher than ever before. According to The State of Global Learning Poverty (2022), 80% of 10 year-old children in Western and Central Africa are unable to read and understand simple text. More than 32 million children are out of school, the largest on record compared to regions worldwide.
The future of Africa hinges upon the digital transformation, with myriad technologies awakening possibilities ranging from the rise of popular fintech platforms to medical recording keeping to remote work. However, catalytic digitization has outpaced digital security. In 2017, African economies lost over $3.5 billion through cyberattacks. How does the continent balance digitization for growth, development, and innovation while managing the risks?
Sustainable investment strategies, namely environmental, social, and governance (ESG) have been trending across Africa and globally. The Global Sustainable Investment Alliance notes that these investments have increased by 34% in five major global markets over two years to be over $39 trillion. Increasingly, investors have integrated social impact among their criteria as they prioritize positive outcomes along with favorable financial outcomes.
Africa has the opportunity to optimize the rise of green investments. Despite the risks posed by climate change and an uncertain economy, the African private equity sector has long been part of the ESG integration – 80% of investee African companies met ESG criteria in 2017. This session explores opportunities for growth in sustainable investment and development in Africa.