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Africa will have 2 billion people in 2050 – over one fifth of the projected global population, the largest and youngest workforce by 2025 and over 500 million people in the labour market. Successfully absorbing this workforce in labour intensive and highly productive activities/sectors (e.g., Manufacturing) holds the key to creating Africa’s demographic dividend.
Africa has the second-highest urbanisation rate in the world and by 2050, 56% of its population will be urban. And in the next 10 years, Africa’s 20 biggest cities are expected to grow by 50%. This represents new opportunities in infrastructure development and services.
With a growing population and rapid urbanisation, a middle class strengthens and becomes more numerous. In 2010, 150 million Africans made up the middle class, a figure that is expected to reach 210 million in 2020 and rise to 490 million by 2040. The rise of the middle class has caused in a shift in consumption patterns with its members preferring consumer goods (finished and manufactured products) as well as buying in supermarkets and larger retail outlets. This is a market worth $250bn and it is set to grow at an annual rate of 5% by 2025
In 2016, mobile technologies and services generated $110 billion economic value in Sub-Saharan Africa, equivalent to 7.7% of GDP. It is expected to rise to $142 billion, or 8.6% of GDP, by 2020 as countries benefit from improvements in productivity and efficiency from the increased take-up of mobile services. The mobile technologies sector employed some 3.5 million people in Sub-Saharan Africa in 2016. The number of mobile broadband connections will be 500 million in 2020, double the 2016 figure.