New UNICEF Report : Prioritizing investment in children to reap the demographic dividend

Yesterday, UNICEF launched a new report on population growth and demographic dividend in Africa : Generation 2030 Africa 2.0 : Prioritizing investment in children to reap the demographic dividend.

It is our pleasure to share this report with you and to highlight some of the key findings :


  • Africa’s child population is projected to increase by 170 million between now and 2030, taking the number of the continent’s under-18s to 750 million.
  • Africa’s child population will reach 1 billion by 2055 and will become the largest of all continents in the latter part of the 21st Century.
  • Investing in youth, selected as the AU’s main focus in 2017, is imperative and needs to be complemented by an equally strong emphasis on investing in children to establish the strongest foundation for Africa’s future.

The projected expansion in Africa’s child population will necessitate an increase of more than 11 million skilled education and health personnel by 2030

  • To keep pace with the continent’s unprecedented demographic transition, Africa will have to add 5.6 million new health workers and 5.8 million new teachers by 2030 to meet minimum international standards in health care and best practice targets in education due to the rapidly growing population.
  • The report identifies three key issues for investment : health care, education, and the protection and empowerment of women and girls.
  • Critically, the Generation 2030 Africa 2.0 report also notes that Africa can reap a demographic dividend that will see per capita incomes increase by up to four-fold by 2050, if policies which promote job growth are made alongside international and domestic investment in Africa’s human capital.

We are at the most critical juncture for Africa’s children. Get it right, and we set the foundation for a demographic dividend, which could lift hundreds of millions out of extreme poverty, and contribute to enhanced prosperity, stability, and peace. Conversely, if investments are not made in Africa’s youth and children, the once-in-a-generation opportunity of a demographic dividend may be replaced by a demographic disaster, characterized by unemployment and instability.

Imagine the potential of one billion children, if Africa steps up its investments in children and youth now.

PDF icon Download the full report

PDF icon Download the executive summary: English | French