The fourth REBRANDING AFRICA FORUM takes place in Brussels, Belgium today. The forum which brings together a wide range of experts and eminent persons is part of the effort to speed up the development of the continent. It is being held under the theme ISSUES AND CHALLENGES OF AFRICAN FINANCIAL SYSTEMS IN THE FACE OF THE DEMOGRAPHIC DIVIDEND.
In a statement, the Founder of the Rebranding Africa Forum Mr. Thierry Hot said “we have chosen a theme that fits very well into the developmental dynamics of the continent….”
The demographic dividend refers to a period where the continent stands to gain from the changing dynamics of its population structure. At this point, there are potentially more people in the working force to support a dependent population. It is only beneficial if a country puts in place measures to tap into this potential. It also offers an opportunity to finance development policies.
For a country and a continent to benefit from the available opportunity through this change in the nature of the population, there should be strategic and sustained investment in four key areas. These are family planning that controls further rapid growth, health, education (including training) and employment-generating economic policies with appropriate governance that attracts investors.
Whilst Africa as continent stands to gain from this waiting opportunity, it will not materialize unless continuous attention is drawn to the potential benefits that any investor stands to gain. This calls for the creation of synergies and partnerships.
According to Mr. Thierry Hot, the Rebranding Forum in its last three editions succeeded in creating “…a laboratory that catalyses the questions and hopes of Africa”. He adds that “it has not only been to debate but also put Africa in the perspective of its sometimes un-recognised assets as well its state of health in various other major areas”.
The experts billed to speak at the forum include the newly confirmed Executive Director of the UN Population Fund Mrs. Natalia Kanem, the President of GBCHealth – the Global Business Coalition Mrs Nancy Wildfeir-Field and State Minister, Kingdom of Belgium Mr. Andre Fiahaut. The themes that will be discussed in various panel sessions include the Agro-Industrial bet, the Opportunities of Services Market and Investing in Human Capital.