High-Level UN Dialogue on Harnessing Africa's Demographic Dividend

Sep 22, 2017 10:05 AM ET

New York, USA. September 22, 2017: Today, at the United Nations, His Excellency Prof. Alpha Condé, President of Guinea and Chairperson of the African Union, convened a high-level meeting to strengthen the partnership with the private sector and discuss opportunities created by Africa’s demographic change. Bringing together African leaders, CEOs and other development partners, the event explored how smart investments in health, empowerment, education and employment can reduce vulnerability and support young people to reach their full potential.

Mabingue Ngom, Regional Director West and Central African Region UNFPA, highlighted that: “Such high-level dialogues further strengthen public-private partnership, which is required to attract increased private sector investment, thereby harnessing the demographic dividend in Africa and accelerate Africa’s industrialization.”

The UNFPA and GBCHealth are joining forces to create a platform to facilitate the exchange of expertise between the private and public sectors.

The UN estimates that Africa will make up a quarter of the world’s population by 2050 – with an average 60% of the population under 24 years old. This youth bulge presents a tremendous opportunity to transform the economic and social landscape of the continent. Harnessing this potential into a positive force for development, will ensure African nations are able to reap significant dividends over the coming years.

Nancy Wildfeir-Field, President of GBCHealth, called on all businesses to promote demographic transformation in Africa. “Companies have a vital role to play utilizing resources, but more importantly their experience and expertise, to improve the health and wellbeing of youth across the continent. This partnership will serve as a platform to ensure that the public and private sectors work hand-in-hand to achieve the goal of a prosperous and growing Africa.”

However, with an adolescent fertility rate of 100 per 1000 among young women in Sub-Saharan Africa the region remains at continued risk of high levels of unemployment and political instability. A partnership between the UNFPA and GBCHealth will engage the private sector on Africa’s demographic dividend to empower women and youth, focused initially on improving access to high-quality sexual and reproductive health products and services.

Following the UN General Assembly event, the UNFPA, GBCHealth and AfriYAN will hold a special side event on October 5th in Brussels in the lead up to the Re-Branding Africa Forum.


Note to Editors:

For Inquires:


Jacob Enoh Eben (UNFPA)


+1 202 751 8517


Celine Adotevi


+1 917 348 4561


Ian Matthews (GBCHealth)


+1 415 645 3854


About the UNFPA:
The UNFPA is the lead UN agency for delivering a world where every pregnancy is wanted, every childbirth is safe and every young person’s potential is fulfilled. Since the UNPA started working in 1969, the number- and rate- of women dying from complications of pregnancy or childbirth has been halved. Families are smaller and healthier. Young people are more connected and empowered than ever before.


About GBCHealth:

GBCHealth is dedicated to leveraging the resources and expertise of the private sector to meet today’s most pressing health challenges. Founded in 2001, under the leadership of Ambassador Richard C. Holbrooke, GBCHealth has built a strong track record of mobilizing business action to address workplace and community health issues. Today, the organization works with a network of more than 300 organizations globally to drive collective action in areas where business can have the greatest impact – particularly in Africa.