Last year, while undertaking a 5 day tour of Africa, President Barak Obama commented on the “extraordinary” opportunity of Africa’s youth bulge. He suggested that Africa “has the potential to be the next center of global economic growth”. Africa’s success will largely depend on how the continent deals with its enormous population of youths. Currently, 43% of the content is aged 15 or under, while some 200 million inhabitants are between 15 and 24. Dealing with the demographic issues is possibly the greatest challenge facing African governments and business leaders today.
In light of the growing importance of the African youth bulge, the Planet Earth Institute will be hosting a high level conference to discuss strategies for overcoming the problem and turning it into the “extraordinary” opportunity Obama believes it can be.
200 delegates have been invited to attend the conference in London. They will be asked to offer their thoughts on the African youth bulge and to work together to develop a concrete strategy for getting more young Africans into STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) education.
The Planet Earth Institute already supports a wide range of programmes designed to support African students studying STEM subjects. These programmes include the funding of a PhD research centre and the funding of over 10,000 PhDs over the course of the next 10 years.
The institute hopes the conference can shed light on more ways to promote and support education programmes that will mitigate the problems brought on by Africa’s demographics.
Dr Alvaro Sobrinho has previously pointed out the necessity of an employment strategy for young Africans. He has personally advocated a focus on scientific education as the most effective way of preparing young Africans for the high-tech, low employment economy they are bound to face in the coming years.
The conference will be held on London on September 15th.