Addis Ababa - Former UN secretary general Kofi Annan said on Thursday
that African governments should commit to educating the continent's
bourgeoning youth population to sustain economic growth.
Over 60% of Africa's population is under 30.
have a young bulge that is going to need lots of work, lots of jobs and
governments should focus on that," Annan told reporters at the World
Economic Forum (WEF) in the Ethiopian capital.
"We consider trade
schools, preparing them or giving them skills that could employ them
when they are out of school or allow them to get their own companies and
Annan noted that Africa has shown "remarkable" progress in recent years, in part by attracting increased foreign investment.
continue advancing, he said, governments must concentrate on "the
welfare of their people and come up with social and economic policies
that try to effect... the lives of the individuals."
Seven of the
world's fastest growing economies are in Africa, and investment in
agriculture, infrastructure and mineral resources has blossomed in the
China is the continent's largest trading partner and has major investments in infrastructure and minerals across Africa.
Gao Xinqing, president of the China Investment Corporation, said Africa was a strategic partner for the Asian powerhouse.
China, we look at Africa really not only as a target of investment but
as a potential coveted partner in many ways: culturally, historically,
economically [and] politically," said Gao, who is co-chairing this
year's WEF conference.
Eight African leaders and former British
prime minister Gordon Brown are among the more than 700 participants
expected at the three-day Addis Ababa WEF meeting that wraps up on
The conference is focusing on boosting public-private
investment and fostering economic diversity to kick-start development