Over the last eight years, America has written a new chapter in our relationship with Africa. Under President Obama’s leadership, we have worked to transition our support for the continent from aid to trade and empowerment. We have started to build a full, equal, advanced economic partnership — a partnership that holds as much promise for African countries as it does for America. This week’s U.S.-Africa Business Forum is a key component of that new partnership.
Africa is primed to be one of the great economic success stories of this century. Incomes are rising. Investments in infrastructure and technology are accelerating growth across a range of industries. Africa today is home to 700 companies with revenues greater than $500 million. Consumer spending is on track to climb to $1 trillion over the next four years. The workforce is projected to be the largest on the planet by 2040. The continent could make up a quarter of the global economy by the year 2050.
African markets are also poised to benefit from several long-term trends, including the fastest-growing middle class in the world, an expanding urban population, and increasing access to mobile technology and the internet. By the end of this century, some estimates predict that 40 percent of the world’s youth will be African, which would be an unprecedented concentration of young consumers.
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