This report highlights the potential of targeted population policies to achieve demographic dividends.
Sub-Saharan Africa has the lowest per capita income and the highest population growth of any region in the world. Only by promoting economic development and creating new opportunities for its population can the continent escape the dual trap of poverty and high fertility. African agriculture, dominated by a majority of smallholders, has a key role to play in this context. Although African farmers are currently unable to feed the continent’s population, they may benefit from European experiences and innovation by avoiding their mistakes.
Leapfrogging, i.e. skipping certain stages of technological development, allows economies to achieve higher yields by using resources intelligently and efficiently. If African countries succeed in linking farmers to markets, processing a greater share of raw materials in the regions where they are grown and reinvesting the gains in value added, they can initiate the structural changes necessary in rural areas to turn agriculture into a driver of development.
The Berlin Institute would like to thank the Bayer Foundation and the Friends of the Berlin Institute for supporting this research project.
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