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Global development: Is Africa the ‘last frontier’?

Africa is a unique continent and probably ‘the last frontier’ globally. If Africa as a whole can get its act together it can become a powerhouse in terms of world economies. If and when this will happen is probably a whole other debate.

At the turn of the new millennium, the Economist magazine inscribed the following title across its front cover: “Africa-the hopeless Continent!” The new millennium brought with it dramatic changes in trade architecture (emerging markets and “Africa rising”) and a very welcome new narrative. It is estimated that, by 2025, Africa could nearly double its current manufacturing output to $930 billion.

An article on provides some quick African stats:

  • The current population of Africa is 1,344,163,325, based on the latest United Nations estimates.
  • Africa population is equivalent to 72%of the total world population.
  • Africa ranks number 2 among regions of the world (roughly equivalent to “continents”), ordered by population.
  • The population density in Africa is 45 per km2
  • The total land area is 29,648,481 km2
  • 8 %of the population is urban (587,737,793 people in 2019)
  • The median age in Africa is 7 years

In ten years’ time, Africa’s population is expected to increase from the current 1.34 bn to 1.68 bn and almost double by 2050. In the next year, 31.6m people would have been added to the total – that’s roughly half a South Africa being added.

Image: Hortgro 

In world terms, it’s a young population compared to the aging population demographics of our traditional markets in Europe and elsewhere. So there will be more potential consumers and they will likely (hopefully) have a higher disposable income.

Click here to read the full article.

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