UN & IMF see huge potential in the youth of Africa

 Africa's population is seeing incredible growth – about 21 million people every single year since 1994 – and is about to hit 1.2 billion. A U.N. report last month projected that it could more than triple by the end of this century.

That could put a monumental strain on governments across the continent, which are already struggling to address rampant poverty and underdevelopment. But the news isn't all bad; Africa boasts some of the world's fastest-growing economies.

The International Monetary Fund predicted this year that economic growth in sub-Saharan Africa should hit 6.1 percent by 2014, far exceeding the expected global average of four percent. Urban centres are transforming into hubs of enterprise, so it's no surprise that Africa's population boom is increasingly centred around cities. The continent has the world's fastest rate of urbanisation; in 1950, only 14.4 percent of people lived in cities; by 2011, the figure was 39.6 percent.

If economic development can keep up, Africa's population growth could become a boon rather than a challenge. More than 70 percent of the continent's population is under the age of 30, and these young people could spur incredible productivity in the years to come.