The Beatles, Black Sabbath and Africa in 2050

No that’s not a stadium rock concert, it’s the musical references in the introduction to a scenario report, “African Futures 2050,” from the South African ‘Institute for Security Studies’ think tank.* The report, published in collaboration with the Pardee Center for International Futures, was published last month. We finally got around to page through the PDF: dry and packed with stats but an informative and readable analysis of ‘a’ projected course of African development to 2050 (covering demographics, economics, sociopolitical change, the environment and “human development itself”). In their preface, the authors are quick to admit that “[n]o one can predict the future and we do not pretend to do so. Instead [we] provide one possible future, shaped by recent and likely future developments, but with the clear statement that it is only one such vision.” (A necessary footnote, I believe.) The animated infographic above serves as a short introduction. The full report can be found here.

* BTW, there’s a point to the Beatles and Black Sabbath references. They’re featured in the report’s summary of the last half century or so.


4 thoughts on “The Beatles, Black Sabbath and Africa in 2050

  1. This video seems to equate rapid population growth with economic prosperity. While population growth does mean a larger work force, it has not been the experience of many countries around the world that having more people leads to equal access to resources for all of those people.

    • Leila: It equates the demographic dividend to economic growth, not population growth. Big difference. Demographic dividend is the percent of working age people divided by total dependents (both old and young)

      • Thanks, Jonathan. That’s definitely an important distinction. And overall, I appreciate how much information is packed into a short and compelling video. I still think that by underscoring that Africa’s population will be larger than China’s and India’s by 2030 and that 1 in 4 people will be African by 2050, it’s implied that population growth in and of itself leads to progress. I would have liked to see the demographic dividend teased out a bit and a nod given to the role women and women’s empowerment have played in recent progress.

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