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Africa stands on the cusp of its biggest opportunity to pull millions of its children out of poverty and to position its young people at the frontline of changes transforming the global economy through the fourth industrial revolution. A modelling exercise of Africa’s demographic dividend potential, done by the UN International Children’s Emergency Fund (Unicef), shows that the continent can achieve an average per-capita income growth rate of 5.2% annually if it invests in its children and adolescents between now and 2030. To achieve this, African governments and their partners — the private sector, UN agencies, nongovernmental organisations (NGOs), donors, religious organisations, youth and communities — will need to pull together their political, economic and social capital to harness the potential of the world’s youngest population. There is growing evidence that increased investments should be focused on skills and vocational training; secondary education; empowerment — most not...

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