Africa has experienced monumental economic growth over the past decade due in part to discovery and exploration of oil and other raw materials in response to robust global demand. With six of the twelve fastest growing economies in 2012 on the continent, various economic forecasts indicate that the continent will be one of the world’s fastest growing regions in the years ahead. Yet these rosy forecasts are misleading at best, for Africa remains home to many of the poorest nations in the world.
While there are challenges, Africa does have enormous potential and opportunities which, if seized upon, could positively transform the lives of millions of Africans. Consider: The continent is home to a large youth demographic, approximately 37% of the total population. By properly developing this human capital into a productive 21st century workforce, African countries can become industrialized nations, driven by knowledge, innovation and entrepreneurship, while simultaneously preserving some of our planet’s pristine and ecologically important environments.