Sub-Saharan Africa youthful population represents tremendous opportunities for region

Internally Displaced mothers with their children wait to receive food at Kabasa IDP camp in Doolow, Gedo region, Somalia on June 12, 2017. This was during a visit on a humanitarian assessment by a delegation from the United Nations and the African Union led by Dr. Ahmed Al-Meraikhi, the UN Secretary-General’s Humanitarian Envoy to Doolow. UN Photo / Ilyas Ahmed

The youthful population  of Sub-Saharan Africa represents tremendous opportunities for the region inspite of challenges.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) Director of Communication Department, Julie Kozack, made tghis known at the IMF Headquarters in Washington, DC during  a news conference.

She was speaking on the 2023 Annual Meetings in Marrakech, Morocco  from Oct. 9 to Oct. 15.

“The region has been very much affected by the succession of shocks, the pandemic, the cost of living crisis, and food insecurity.

“In addition, the region has been affected, of course, by tightening global financial conditions, and that has led to what we are calling the funding squeeze.

“All of that has happened in a situation where the region is also facing, in some countries, high debt. So the challenges, of course, are very significant in Africa.

“But I would be remiss if I did not also mention the opportunities in the sense that Africa is a continent with a youthful population, which presents tremendous opportunities for the region as well,” she said.

Kozack said the Annual Meetings was an opportunity to bring the global community together, noting that this was the first time in 50 years that the Meetings was held on the African continent.

According to her, it is a consequential moment for global membership.

“The world’s economies are gradually healing from a series of shocks, pandemic, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, cost of living crisis, climate events on every continent.

“So we see this as a time to bring the global economy together, to bring global economic leaders together to discuss how we can come together as a global community to overcome these challenges.

“Particularly as it affects low-income and vulnerable countries, and that we see as a major topic for the meetings.”

Commenting on the coups in some African countries, Kozack said the role of the IMF was to contribute, via policy advice, capacity development and financing to a more stable economic and social environment.

She said this would be done by engaging in solutions to humanitarian challenges, social exclusion, insecurity, and lack of basic public services.

“Staying engaged in Sahel countries and similar fragile states is therefore important, and that is what we had in mind when we put together our recent strategy for fragile and conflict-affected state,” she said.

This is the first time in 50 years that the Annual Meetings of the World Bank Group (WBG) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) will be held on the African continent.


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