Editor’s Note: April 15, 2019

Africa’s ‘demographic time-bomb’ is ticking

April has seen two of Africa’s longest-serving rulers – Algeria’s Abdelaziz Bouteflikaand Sudan’s Omar al-Bashir – removed from office following mass protests. Their demise is unexpected, with both presiding over seemingly stable regimes until a few months ago.

It shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise. 

In both countries what started as protests against their respective rulers has quickly evolved into movements calling for meaningful change. Economic stagnation has played a key role – particularly among young people.

More than 60% of Sudan’s population is thought to be under 25 years old. In Algeria one in four are under 15. 

This is representative of Africa, with 60% of the continent’s population estimated to be under 25. There is much debate about whether this is an asset for, or risk to development.

The answer depends on whether the continent’s economies can meet their needs. On this there’s cause for concern.

Many are being left behind according to the Ibrahim Index of African Governance, which has warned that governments are failing to improve economic opportunities for citizens, despite a 40% increase in Africa’s GDP since 2008.

Meanwhile youth unemployment is rampant – Algeria and Sudan have estimated rates above 30%. 

There are warnings that this disconnect constitutes a ‘demographic time-bomb’ of social unrest. Algeria and Sudan suggest the clock is ticking.

From The Continent

Zimbabwe’s biggest gold miner, Metallon Corp., has reportedly halted production at three of its four mines because of mounting debt. This is part of growing stress on the mining sector, which accounts for the bulk of Zimbabwe’s foreign exchange earnings, amid an acute economic crisis. More: Bloomberg

The new head of Sudan’s military council, which last week ousted longtime president Omar al-Bashir, has promised that a transition to civilian rule in the country will happen within two years. Talks are to be held with the opposition on how to manage the process. More:Reuters

The Daily Stat


The percentage by which shares in Nigeria-based e-commerce startup Jumia rose on its debut on the New York Stock Exchange on April 12. More: Fin24

The Global Perspective

Tanzania has agreed a $1.7bn financing deal with the World Bank for 2019/20. This comes despite tensions between international donors - including the Bank- and populist president John Magufuli over policy direction in the country. More: Reuters

Google has opened its first Artificial Intelligence research centre in Accra, Ghana - the first of its kind on the continent. The initiative is aimed at developing new solutions to development challenges. More: CNN

The Daily Follow