As populations around the world reach a state of stasis, Africa will surge from a billion to 4 billion people over the course of the century.

The African continent will constitute half of the world’s people by 2100. Nigeria will bypass the United States in population by 2050.

Nine of the 10 poorest countries in the world are in Africa, but there are hints of transformation underway: 6 of the 10 countries posting the highest growth rates in 2014 were in Africa.

Opportunity and challenge are intertwined.

Challenges include ramping up education, healthcare, and employment for billions of people. The vast opportunities are the potential for dramatic growth as a consumer markets expand and infrastructure is laid down to link people and nations.

Meeting the needs of Africa’s booming population has great implications for the globe.

How can Africa leverage innovation to leapfrog development challenges as its population surges?

This is the first in our series of short posts about Embracing the Future: 15 Trends Shaping Leadership Development Today.

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