Demographic Growth

Africa’s population has risen considerably in the last 25 years. It is currently estimated at 1.1 billion inhabitants and, according to United Nations forecasts, it will rise to 2.4 billion, or nearly one-third of the world’s population, by 2050. Such rapid growth has two immediate consequences, to which all African governments and development partners are attentive:

  • an exploding youth population: more than 60% of the African population is under 35, which raises the challenge of matching education/ training to employment;
  • an ever higher population density in much of the continent, which raises the challenges of coexistence and of the rational and peaceful management of natural resources and the environment.

How can the youth population be educated and trained in order to be integrated into society through decent and stable employment?
What types of education and what content are required to train young people so that they can participate fully in their country’s development?
How can social cohesion be ensured within population groups increasingly faced with all forms of diversity?
How can the use and sharing of some African regions’ abundant yet rare natural resources be managed peacefully?

Action of UNESCO

UNESCO will work to implement and realize educational, cultural, and scientific policies which contribute to the building of inclusive societies founded on compliance to fundamental human rights. Accordingly, support for the implementation of the African Union’s Second Decade of Education for Africa and the promotion of a culture of science, of technological skills for young people, in particular, and of appropriate youth policies generally are to be considered in several respects as major lines of action that have a potentially significant impact on youth capacity building and employability. The same holds true for schemes that contribute to knowledge production in and on Africa and the promotion of innovation based on endogenous knowledge and technologies.

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