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Launch of new research paper
"Getting to Africa's demographic dividend"

This is the title of a new research report just published by the African Futures and Innovation Program, one of our partner projects in South Africa. It was launched by the author Jakkie Cilliers at the ISS in Pretoria this week.

The panel: respondent, Professor Gilbert Khadiagala, author Dr Jakkie Cilliers and chair Prof. Maxi Schoeman

The respondent, Professor Gilbert Khadiagala, author Dr Jakkie Cilliers and chair Prof. Maxi Schoeman


Renowned experts on the launch panel

During the launch, author Jakkie Cilliers, co-founder of the Institute of Security Studies Pretoria and Head of the African Futures and Innovations Program, presented his thought provoking paper. Respondent Professor Gilbert Khadiagala is a renowned expert, author and policy analyst, trained in Kenya, Canada and the US, currently Jan Smuts Professor in International Relations at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg. The chair at the event, Professor Maxi Schoeman, is the Head of the Department of Political Sciences at the University of Pretoria. A recording of the presentations is available online:

Key findings are listed for easier reception

Key findings are summarised to facilitate reception


Use of extensive data and innovative software reveals important results

The research team at the ISS makes use of the International Futures Software, a model for global forecasting. It was developed at the Pardee Centre for International Futures at the University of Denver; it is open source and thus freely available. Thousands of data are being used in their interconnectedness to model alternative paths for countries, depending on policy choices made by governments and developments in key sectors of society. This methodology enables the researchers also to draw different scenarios of development based on adjustments of relevant indicators. 

Size of the African continent shown in comparison to others by Jakkie Cilliers

Jakkie Cilliers showing the size of the continent and its population in comparison to other areas of the world


Recommendations highlighted in the report

The report, to facilitate its application, also highlights recommendations to different stakeholders, aiming to implement policies that can enable the growth of per capita income and a reduction of the number of people affected by extreme poverty over the coming years and decades. They include the accelerated roll-out of modern contraception, partly to respond to the unmet needs established already. Eliminating inequality in education and improving female enrolment are important, as is the provision of clean water and improved sanitation to reduce infant and female mortality. "Political leadership in discussing gender inequality, fertility and family size is vital, as are public media campaigns that demonstrate the health and economic benefits of smaller families".