President of the African Development Bank (AfDB), Akinwumi Adesina has said statistics show that Africa is projected to have over 840 million youth by 2050 with the continent having the youngest population on earth.
He disclosed this at the opening ceremony of the third Africa Science, Technology and Innovation Forum (Africa STI Forum) last Saturday in Cairo, the Egyptian capital while calling for greater investment in higher education, science, technology and innovation, and the commercialization of research outputs.
Adesina, who emphasized why Africa needs to promote a culture of innovation driven by Africa's youth population, said, "The youth are Africa's most important sovereign wealth. With Africa projected to have over 840 million youth by 2050, the continent will brim with the youngest population on earth."
In a statement by AFDB Communication Officer, Emeka Anuforo, the Bank also emphasized its deep commitment to the establishment of the Africa Education Fund, together with the Association for Development of Education in Africa, the Islamic Development Bank and the Government of Japan.
He said Africa is literally in a race against time. "In the context of the fourth industrial revolution, with rapid growth in artificial intelligence, robotics, nanotechnology, biotechnology, genetic engineering, and big data analytics, it's clear that Africa needs to do more not to be left behind," he told the over 300 delegates at the Forum.
To move faster and with quality, Africa must include and provide greater opportunities for women, especially women scientists, and accelerate the enrolment of girls in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, Adesina said.