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Preparing Africa's Youth for the Digital Economy

Friday, September 25, 2020 11:20am - 12:30pm

Recorded Event Video


The current population of Africa is 1.3 billion, projected to double to 2.5 billion by 2050 and continue to 4.5 billion by 2100. It is also the youngest continent, with 77% of the population below the age of 35. Yet, the continent has not fully reaped the economic benefits resulting from a significant increase in the ratio of working-age adults to dependents.

It is imperative to look to the challenges and limitations faced by the contemporary youth to address the question of how sustainable growth and development across the African continent, as well as competitiveness in the global market, can be promoted for the years to come. The catastrophic events of the COVID-19 global pandemic on African nations has especially marked the need to raise our youth with the tools to face sudden and severe situations to thrive in a digital economy.  


COVID-19 has necessitated lifting some of the barriers that have held back the African e-commerce market. Demand for service in basic needs via e-commerce spiked among both customers and sellers across countries of the content, and this has been promising. But it also confirmed the persistence of tough, underdeveloped markets across the continent, largely due to underdevelopment of digital infrastructure and value-chains. Fulfilment of order for example has been a major challenge. 

Objective of Session

By bringing together leading African policymakers, experts, and business leaders in these sectors, this session aims to explore the regulatory and policy options as well as investment priorities for the public and private sector that are needed to boost Africa’s preparedness for the digital economy, focusing on enabling the effective custodianship of Africa’s economy to its youth, so that the continent can fully benefit from its demographic dividend. 



Brian Gitahi | Moderator

Brian Gitahi is a sophomore at Princeton University interested in urban planning, language and has a keen eye for art. Most recently, he worked on a project to assist a French startup customize its website to adapt to the COVID era.

Brian Gitahi
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