Africa’s rich history has often manifested itself in the creative arts. Through literature, music, and theater, Africans across the continent and throughout the diaspora have managed to share unique stories, experiences, and cultures that combat stereotypes and misconceptions. This panel explores how contemporary African expressions of art have influenced the diaspora and the wider global perception of Africa and Africans.
Africa has the world’s youngest population, with a median age of 19.5 years. This population is well attuned to technology, making the technology adoption growth rate exponential. The panel will discuss how technology is shaping traditional and nontraditional industries, outlook, and fostering entrepreneurship.
Africa has the fastest growing population and economy. With a population of 1.1 billion, the population is expected to double by 2050. These factors make Africa suitable for investment. The panel will explore the existing investment tools used in Africa, the challenges investors face, and the outlook on how these tools will shape investment in Africa.
Youth unemployment is one of Africa’s greatest challenges. Unemployment among young people aged 15–24 years old in sub-Saharan Africa has hovered between 12% and 14% since the 2008 global financial crisis. The data does not include youth in vulnerable employment and those underemployed in informal sectors, who make up at least 70% of the workforce. Although these statistics may seem daunting, African policymakers, entrepreneurs, and private businesses have been working to mitigate unemployment among African youth in their respective countries by tapping into innovation. This panel will focus on the complexities of unemployment, expand on the roles of actors on the ground who are working to solve this problem, and give exposure to budding programs and innovations that have been successful in alleviating unemployment throughout the continent.
Africa is headed towards tremendous growth in the next few decades. Leveraging the present to shape the future through African Innovation requires legal structures that take into account law and development within the continent. Strengthening legal systems ensures that resources are used to best develop the continent in a way that takes into account Africa’s unique needs. In considering the importance of international law, project financing, and trade law in the growth and development on the continent, this panel will acknowledge the continent’s diverse intersection of common law, civil law, and customary tradition whilst addressing the use of law as an instrument to promote economic and social development in Africa.
Over 604 million Africans have no access to energy, with African countries on average having an energy access rate of 40%, one of the lowest rates in the world. Excluding South Africa, sub-Saharan Africa’s energy consumption per capita stands at 180kwh, a stark contrast to the U.S.’s 13,000kwh and Europe’s 6,500kwh per capita consumption. Increasing access to power is critical in the continent’s sustainable economic transformation, with power generation playing a central role in industrialization and bolstering ICT, educational, and health care services across the continent. This panel will explore current projects, emerging business opportunities, and challenges in the continent’s energy sector. It will also address how power demand will evolve, what kind of innovative energy financing tools will be needed, and what role renewable energy will play in Africa’s development.