The Government of Senegal launched the third edition of the NTA (National Transfer Accounts) – AFRICA Conference in Somone on Wednesday, with the theme “Demographic dividend, generational economy and sustainable development in Africa: Taking stock 5 years after the adoption of the African Union roadmap on the demographic dividend”.
Initiated by the Sub-Regional Office for West Africa of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA/SRO-WA), in partnership with the NTA (National Transfer Accounts) Network – Africa via its Secretariat, the Regional Consortium for Research in Generational Economics (RCRGE), the Demographic Reference Bureau (DRB) and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), this Conference aims to create a framework to address population and sustainable development issues in Africa, in the context of multiple crises.
In specific terms, this meeting will carry out an in-depth review of progress made in the implementation of AU 2017 roadmap on demographic dividend, identify synergies and linkages between the generational economy, AU 2017 roadmap on demographic dividend and Agenda 2030 with a specific focus on issues pertinent to Africa, assess the current situation with regards to population dynamics and development in Africa and its subregions and provide a platform for sharing of experiences and stakeholders to brainstorm on mechanism to improve coordination and to track national progress to harness demographic dividends in their respective countries.
In his opening address, Professor Babacar Ndiaye, Chancellor of the University of Thiès, noted that: “The demographic dividend is a priority theme for the African Union, the Government of Senegal and its partners. The African Union’s Agenda 2063 on the Demographic Dividend, and the roadmap that the Government of Senegal and other African countries are drawing up, are clear proof of this.
“This conference, the result of a joint effort at international level, reflects the willingness expressed by experts, representatives of international and governmental institutions to build consensual collaborative tools and to precede the development of these tools by critical methodological reflection conducive to making the most of each other’s experiences and successes. This can only be beneficial to our continent, which is still in its infancy when it comes to the demographic dividend”, added Professor Babacar Ndiaye.
The Director of ECA/SRO-WA, Mrs. Ngone Diop, began by presenting Africa’s demographic profile. “In 2023, Africa will be home to around 1.4 billion people, with an average annual growth rate of 2.3, the result of an average fertility rate of 4.15 births per woman. There are also regional variations, with West Africa having the highest fertility rate – Niger, for example, has a fertility rate of 6.8 children per woman. Indeed, while the world’s population doubles almost every 76 years, in Africa it doubles almost every 30 years. Furthermore, around 60% of Africa’s population is made up of young people under the age of 24,” said Mrs. Ngone Diop.
The Director of ECA/SRO-WA went on to add that “this demographic profile is matched by a strong economic and social demand that African countries are facing, in a context of multiple crises and, consequently, shrinking fiscal space. And on meeting this demand depends the continent’s path to transformational and sustainable development’.
“We understand that accelerating the capture of the demographic dividend will accelerate the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals in Africa”, concluded Mrs. Ngone Diop.
The Coordinator of RCRGE, Professor Latif Dramani said he is “delighted once again at this communion between researchers and public policy leaders through the NTA AFRICA Conference, which has become a reference framework for addressing the challenges and issues of development on the African continent”.
The Coordinator of the United Nations System in Senegal, Mrs. Aminata Maiga believes that in view of “the mixed progress at global level in implementing the 2030 Agenda, we must pool our expertise and take concrete actions to ensure the effective achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals”. Mrs. Aminata Maiga went on to say that she was delighted to be holding this 3rd Edition, as “it will enable us to analyze the progress made in implementing the African Union’s roadmap on the demographic dividend, and to define appropriate measures to accelerate the capture of the demographic dividend”.
Taking place from September 6 to 8, 2023, the conference will bring together some 200 participants, including researchers and policy-makers from across Africa and beyond.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA).