African Futures: Structural Transitions for Prosperity

News | February 01, 2019

On January 29, the EastWest Institute (EWI) Brussels office—together with the Hanns Seidel Foundation (HSS)—organized a joint conference on “African Futures: Structural Transitions for Prosperity.” Roughly 40 participants attended the discussion, which was followed by a lively debate.

Following opening remarks by EWI Vice President Wolfgang Klapper and Hanns Bühler, resident representative of the HSS in Cape Town, Jakkie Cilliers, head of African Futures & Innovation at the Institute for Security Studies (ISS), analyzed Africa’s demographic development, growth perspectives, manufacturing and services sectors, and regional integration and innovation potential.

One of the presented findings is that economic growth in most African countries is absorbed by enormous population growth; by 2050, the continent’s population is expected to double from 1.2 to 2.5 billion. 2019 will be an important year for politics on the continent, as 17 African countries are due for elections, some of which are expected to bring the potential for conflict.