While the world’s population has grown significantly over the last century, in more recent decades the rate of demographic growth has slowed and is in fact declining in a number of countries. Africa is not following this trend. Not only has the continent had the fastest growth in population globally, but the rate of growth is expected to accelerate.
In addition, Africa is currently the youngest continent in the world by some distance — the median age in Africa is just 20, significantly lower than other parts of the world where the median age is greater than 30, and in some cases greater than 40.
The implications of Africa’s population growth and youthful demographic composition is that there will be a significant and growing number of young adults entering the workforce over the next several decades. One of the greatest challenges facing African leaders is how to harness the economic growth potential of these population trends.
With state education systems facing many challenges such as constraints on government funding, this report aims to explore two questions: how can additional (and high quality) capacity be added to Africa’s education system, and what role can be played by the private sector and investors?