The CFA Institute’s Global President, Marg Franklin, has issued a call to African nations, urging them to equip their youth with essential skills in preparation for an anticipated surge of 400 million new workers by 2035. This directive was emphasized during her presentation at the CFA Institute Africa Investment Conference held in Lagos, which centered on the theme “The Emergence of Africa: A Rethink or A Restrategizing?”
Highlighting a World Bank forecast that predicts Africa will witness a workforce expansion exceeding 400 million individuals by 2035, Franklin stressed the imperative for the continent to address existing skill gaps among its youth. While acknowledging the advantageous demographic of a youthful African population, she emphasized the need for comprehensive education to ready them for the impending challenges of the job market.
Quoting Franklin, “These young people represent a world of opportunity. However, there’s much work to do as it relates to filling skills gaps and educating the investment professionals of the future.” She underscored the importance of professional credentials, ongoing educational programs, and events like the conference in building a robust learning ecosystem crucial for preparing the next generation of working professionals in Africa.
Financial literacy emerged as a pivotal aspect of Franklin’s discourse, as she asserted that the incoming African workforce must be financially educated to cultivate a cadre of financial professionals capable of driving economic growth. Acknowledging the demographic reality, she stated, “More than 1/3 of the people in Africa are aged 15 to 24, and by 2050, one of four people on the planet will be African.” This, according to Franklin, necessitates a strategic focus on financial education to harness the potential of this significant demographic.
Franklin emphasized the role of financial professionals in guiding young individuals entering the workforce, stating, “There will be many individuals entering the workforce and considering finance as a career. And so, we need to ensure these individuals are well educated and well prepared to create strong robust capital markets that cater to the unique needs of this market.”
Discussing the broader context of investment in Africa, Franklin highlighted the changing landscape and the need for tailored solutions. She observed that attracting investments to the continent has become more challenging, citing the end of an era of cheap money, rising inflation, increased market volatility, and fluctuating interest rates. In response to these challenges, she urged African nations to develop solutions specific to their markets and people, emphasizing the importance of creating sustainable returns with prudent risk allocation.
In her welcome address, Ibukun Oyedeji, the President of CFA Society Nigeria, echoed the significance of the conference in advancing investment opportunities for sustainable growth in Africa. Oyedeji emphasized that the event provided a platform for African countries to unlock their immense potential, citing factors such as a vibrant economy, abundant resources, and a young and ambitious population.
In conclusion, Marg Franklin’s address at the CFA Institute Africa Investment Conference underscored the critical need for African nations to proactively address the challenges posed by the projected surge in the workforce. The emphasis on financial education, tailored investment solutions, and the role of professional development initiatives highlights the multifaceted approach required to navigate the evolving landscape and harness Africa’s vast potential for sustainable growth. InfoStride News is proud to bring you this coverage of a pivotal moment in shaping the future trajectory of investments in Africa.
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