Effective Engagement with Africa: Capitalizing on Shifts in Business, Technology, and Global Partnerships

Africa, enabled by rapid technological change and demographic shifts, is primed for a major socioeconomic and structural revolution. This report analyzes the major trends driving this change, along with the opportunities and challenges stemming from it. Africa has the fastest growing population in the world. In fact, one in four global citizens will be African by 2050. This growing population is projected to become increasingly concentrated in urban areas as Africa continues to experience a rise in the influence of and opportunities in its major cities. This young, growing workforce will be complemented by a rapidly expanding middle class with trillions of dollars in buying power in the coming decades. This report argues that, if harnessed successfully, these trends represent a significant opportunity for African countries and the U.S. to shape a transformation on the continent that ensures prosperity and equitable growth for all. Chapter 1 provides an overview of the major trends shaping the business environment in Africa, during and after the COVID-19 pandemic. Chapter 2 then discusses the rise of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) in Africa, illustrating how the 4IR presents Africa with the opportunity to bridge gaps in physical and digital infrastructure, but also raises new challenges associated with stability and cybersecurity. Chapter 3 illustrates how Africa is becoming increasingly interconnected, both regionally and globally.