The Promise to the Next Generation
Recent growth in Africa has raised GDP in many countries at enviable rates. It has facilitated access to finance and communications and has enabled people to leapfrog and leverage the benefits made available by the internet and mobile technology. According to a recent report released by the African Development Bank, this growth in Africa has been fueled by a limited range of commodities and the extractive industries and has not produced sufficient employment opportunities to enable the benefits of growth to be shared more broadly. Manufacturing is in decline, youth unemployment is staggering while Africa’s youth bulge continues to grow. Africa’s infrastructure — its roads, electrical grids, access to water and high speed internet — is in need of investment to support further growth and the creation of more jobs. Poverty, unemployment and inequality persist in many countries. To turn the momentum of Africa’s growth into long term development that is broad based and inclusive, Africa’s growth must rely on investments that protect and develop its richest assets — its talent and human capital — for only then, can the trajectory of recent growth be passed on to the next generation.
The 2015 APF Conference will look at some of the key levers that can protect and build the capacity of Africa’s human capital and talent — investments in better health systems to improve health indicators and ward off the threat of epidemics; investments in STEM and centers of excellence to nurture the innovators of tomorrow; investments in a skilled workforce that can address Africa’s infrastructure needs; transformative approaches that increase the inclusion of women leaders across sectors; and investments in entrepreneurship to unleash the creativity of those who will be providing the jobs of tomorrow. And while philanthropy alone cannot address the challenges that each of these represents, it has a special role to play — as a partner with government, the business sector and public institutions; as a risk taker and an enabler giving birth to new ideas, new possibilities and new collaborations across sectors.