This website models potential progress towards the African Union’s Agenda 2063 vision through the individual and combined impact of various scenarios on the future of Africa, its ﬁve regions such as North Africa, eight RECs such as ECOWAS, country income groups such as the average for Africa's low-income countries, and 54 countries.
About Agenda 2063
The African Union's Agenda 2063 ambition is a comprehensive 50-year blueprint that aims to transform Africa into an integrated, prosperous and peaceful continent, ‘driven by its citizens, representing a dynamic force in the international arena.’ It consists of 20 goals encapsulated in the broader seven aspirations and 15 ﬂagship projects. The ﬁrst 10-year implementation plan will conclude in 2023. The three main objectives of the second plan will revolve around three main objectives: to ensure greater physical connectivity of the Continent through the construction of roads and other communication infrastructures, to establish the conditions for sufficient domestic agricultural production to reduce imports of foodstuffs and build the technical capacities to make the energy transition a success.
About this site
The website consists of a Current Path forecast and 11 separate scenarios coinciding with the second 10-year implementation plan of Agenda 2063, starting in 2024 and concluding in 2033. We measure the impact by 2043 and sometimes by 2063. The analysis presented in this platform extends that ﬁrst provided in the book Africa First! Igniting a Growth Revolution (Jonathan Ball, 2020) and the subsequent textbook The Future of Africa (Palgrave Macmillan, 2021). A revised and updated book, Africa Tomorrow, was published in August 2022 and is available as an open-access book on this website. Go to Resources on the main menu.
From October 2020 to February 2021, the African Futures and Innovation (AFI) programme at the Institute for Security Studies (ISS) hosted 15 high-level global dialogues to reﬁne the scenarios and the forecasts. These sessions brought together some of the best minds globally and systematically reviewed our forecasts of Africa’s likely development prospects. Then, from March 2021 to September 2021, AFI staﬀ presented and discussed the forecasts across various platforms and events to further benchmark and improve the scenarios. The website is constantly updated with new data and modelling improvements that measure progress.
The separate scenarios modelled on this website are on stability, demographics, agriculture, health/WaSH, education, industrialisation, trade/African Continental Free Trade Agreement, technological leapfrogging, external support (remittances, aid, FDI and illicit ﬁnancial ﬂows), large infrastructure projects and governance. In addition, we review the future of work/jobs, the impact of carbon emissions of each scenario and Africa's inﬂuence.
A combined Agenda 2063 scenario emulates the combined impact of all scenarios, includes the impact of a carbon tax and brieﬂy comments on progress towards the African Union's Agenda 2063 ambitions. Since it is unlikely that all 54 African countries included in this forecast will simultaneously implement and advance along all these sectors, the website presents an optimistic upper ceiling for Africa's development prospects. Actual progress is likely to be more modest.
The International Futures (IFs) modelling platform is developed and hosted by the Frederick S. Pardee Center for International Futures at the Josef Korbel School of International Studies, University of Denver. IFs is a tool for thinking about long-term, country-specific, regional, and global development.
The IFs tool draws from multiple modelling methods and integrates them to form a series of relationships in global systems and to generate its forecasts. The scenario analysis capabilities of IFs allow users to explore the potential impact of simulated policy interventions or frame long-term uncertainty within and across development systems.
IFs forecasts development for 186 countries and their interaction, including 54 countries and territories in Africa. It blends different modelling techniques to form a series of relationships based on academic literature to generate its forecasts. IFs use historical data from 1960 (where available) to identify trends and produce a 'Current Path' scenario from 2017 (the current base year). The Current Path scenario (or Base Case) is, therefore, a result of dynamic interactions across key systems based on prevailing policies and environmental conditions rather than a linear extrapolation of trends.
Currently, IFs it is one of the few global modeling platforms capable of projecting SDG achievement across all SDGs at the country level, and has been widely used in analysis of African development.
The data series within IFs come from a range of international sources like the World Bank, International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Health Organization (WHO), various United Nations (UN) bodies like Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) and United Nations Population Fund (UNPF), etc. Although international organizations commit significant resources towards updating data, it often lags behind the current year. Because IFs produces forecasts that move beyond a linear extrapolation, its forecasts have historically been comparable to the data that is ultimately released by international organizations.
The IFs model integrates forecasts for different sub-modules, including population, economy, agriculture, education, energy, governance, international politics, environment, technology, infrastructure, and health, etc. These sub-modules are dynamically connected, so the model simulates how changes in one system lead to changes in all other systems. As a result, IFs endogenizes more relationships from a wider range of key global systems than any other model in the world. Below is an explanation of some key sub-modules in IFs.
Link to interactive bubble diagram of International Futures model
The Economic module in IFs
The economic module is a core component of the IFs model due to its strong connections with all other sub-modules. On the input side, variables from almost all other modules affect production levels while on the output side, the levels of GDP and GDP per capita are crucial for almost all other modules. The module also includes the informal economy. The economic model draws on both the classical tradition’s focus on economic growth (with great attention to the newer work on endogenous growth theory) and the neoclassical perspective's general equilibrium approach. The supply side of the economic model is based on the Cobb-Douglas production function which uses labour, capital, and multifactor or total factor productivity (MFP) as the primary drivers of economic growth. Capital stock (K) is a function of investment and depreciation rates, labour supply (LABS) is determined from population and endogenously derived labour force participation rates. Multifactor or total factor productivity in the economic module is determined by human capital (education and health), social capital (governance effectiveness, corruption, and economic freedom), physical capital (infrastructure) and knowledge capital (R&D. The production function is embedded in a six-sector model of the economy featuring agriculture, raw materials, energy, manufactures, services, and information and communication technology (ICT) that balances domestic demand and trade in a general equilibrium-seeking structure. Production and consumption of goods and services are in turn incorporated into a larger Social Accounting Matrix (SAM), which represents the behaviour and financial interaction of households, firms, and government. As in many computable general equilibrium models, the behaviour of agents within this system is not fixed. For example, variations in the levels of government debt trigger different patterns of government expenditures and revenues in the model, with effects on spending on education and infrastructure, etc. that in turn affect economic growth.
For more technical information on the IFs economic module see:
The Infrastructure module in IFs
IFs distinguish between ‘core’ and ‘other’ infrastructure. Core infrastructure refers to roads, electricity generation, improved water and sanitation, and ICT. Other infrastructure refers to railroads, ports, airports. The IFs infrastructure model forecasts mainly developments in physical infrastructure such as road density, electricity access, irrigation systems and access to water and sanitation. Access to water is divided into unimproved, improved (other) and piped water access. Similarly, access to sanitation is divided into three categories: unimproved, shared and improved. Projections over time for access to water and sanitation are determined by an expected demand for access to safe water and sanitation, which is driven by general levels of development approximated by GDP per capita and average education years of the adult population, and further informed by information on government spending (percent of GDP going to health), and the share of the population living in urban areas. Together this constitutes the expected level of safe access to water and sanitation, which informs the government spending required to invest in infrastructure to improve access to safe water and sanitation. Not in all cases will the expected demand be met by the required financial government resources, limiting the overall rise in access to safe water and sanitation. Access to electricity over time is a function of changes in population and household size, changes in urbanization rates and changes in government effectiveness and poverty levels. Access to electricity is separately forecasted for rural and urban communities, but given historic patterns in development, the model assumes that urban electricity is always equal or higher than rural electricity access. Changes in infrastructure access affect economic growth through its effect on productivity. In addition, changes in some infrastructure indicators are also linked to health and food security, with access to water and sanitation being an important driver of child health and child undernourishment and stunting.
For more technical information on the IFs infrastructure model see:
The Agriculture module in IFs
The IFs agricultural model tracks the supply and demand, including imports, exports, and prices, of three agricultural commodities: crops, meat, and fish. Crops, meat and fish have direct food, animal feed, industrial and food manufacturing uses. The agricultural model is also where land use dynamics and water use are tracked in IFs, as these are key resources for the agricultural sector. Like in the economic model, the agriculture model combines a growth process with a partial economic equilibrium process using stocks and prices to seek a balance between the demand and supply sides. As in the economic model, no effort is made in the standard adjustment mechanism to obtain a precise equilibrium in any time step. Instead stocks serve as a temporary buffer and the model chases equilibrium over time. In the IFs model, agricultural production is a function of the availability of resources such as land, livestock, capital, and labour, as well as climate factors and technology. Technology is most directly seen in the changing productivity of land in terms of crop yields, and in the production of meat relative to the input level of feed grain. The model also accounts for lost production (such as spoilage in the fields or in the first stages of the food supply chain), distribution and transformation losses and consumption losses (which account for food lost at the household levels) which are all determined by average income. Agricultural demand depends on average incomes, prices, and a number of other factors. For example, changing diets can affect the demand for meat, which in turn affects the demand for feed crops. The industrial demand for crops, some of which is directed to the production of biofuels, is also affected by energy prices. For more technical information on the IFs agriculture model see:
The Governance module in IFs
The IFs governance module forecasts three governance dimensions around capacity, inclusiveness and security. Government security is driven by state fragility, and the risk of internal conflict. Effects of government security operate primarily through economic and demographic pathways through the contribution of social capital to economic growth and patterns of mortality and migration. In the model, corruption is one of the most powerful determinants of government capacity and governance effectiveness as well as accountability.
Corruption/transparency is a function of the level of development (GDP per capita), Gender Empowerment/gender equality, democracy, and the dependence of a country on exports of energy (less-powerful but still-significant). These variables collectively account for nearly 80% of the cross-country variation in corruption in the most recent year of data as measured by the Transparency International index of corruption perceptions (CPI).
For more technical information on the IFs governance model see:
The Education module in IFs
The IFs education module forecasts development at the country level on educational attainment of adults, and educational graduation rates of of-age children. The module projects students’ progress from primary to tertiary education, disaggregated by sex, driven by changes in demographics, the economic module and government investment in education. The IFs model forecasts both education quantity (the number of students enrolled), and indicators of education quality (test scores on math, science and reading). From primary education, students move through the education system towards lower secondary, upper secondary and tertiary based on transition rates between education levels, graduation rates for each level, and dropout and re-entrance rates within each level. Spending on education is a function of changes in GDP per capita, changes in demand based on children of eligible age and government spending. In the IFs model, education affects economic growth through its effect on productivity, and the population through its effect on fertility rates.
For more technical information on the IFs education model see:
The Demographic module in IFs
The IFs demographic module uses an age-sex cohort distribution and forecasts demographic changes based on births, deaths and migration patterns. The IFs population projections are based on two dominant flows, fertility determining the inflow of newly born on a yearly basis, and mortality, determining the outflow of deaths on a yearly basis. As such the population in a single year is a function of last year’s population, plus the influx and outflux from births, and deaths. In addition, IFs forecasts migration using a push-pull logic. The total fertility rate, the number of children that the average woman will bear throughout her life, generally decreases in the long run as deep or distal drivers such as GDP per capita (from the economic model) or formal years of education of adults (from the education model) increase. Other determinants of fertility rates in the model are infant mortality rates and contraception usage. The health model of IFs determines infant mortality rates.
For more technical information on the IFs demographic and health models see:
Groups, US$ and maps
All US$ numbers from IFs have been converted from 2011 US$ (used in the International Futures forecasting platform) to 2017 US$ values at a rate of 1:1.09 from US Inﬂation Calculator.
Countries are not removed from the groups they are being compared to. For example, Mozambique will not be removed from low-income Africa when being compared with this group.
This website uses 2021/22 World Bank country income group classiﬁcation. These are as follows:
- Low-income Africa consists of the following 23 countries: Burkina Faso, Burundi, Central African Republic, Chad, DR Congo, Eritrea, Ethiopia, The Gambia, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mozambique, Niger, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan, Togo, Uganda
- Low middle-income Africa consists of the following 23 countries: Algeria, Angola, Benin, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Comoros, Republic of the Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Eswatini, Djibouti, Egypt, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Mauritania, Morocco, Nigeria, São Tomé and Príncipe, Senegal, Tanzania, Tunisia, Zambia, Zimbabwe
- Upper middle-income Africa consists of the following 7 countries: Botswana, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Libya, Mauritius, Namibia, South Africa
- High income Africa consists of Seychelles
Regions in Africa are as follows:
- Central Africa: Angola, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, DR Congo, Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, São Tomé and Príncipe
- East Africa: Burundi, Comoros, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda
- North Africa: Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Tunisia
- Southern Africa: Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, South Africa, Zambia, Zimbabwe
- West Africa: Benin, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Côte d’Ivoire, The Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Togo
- Sub-Sahara Africa consists of the countries of East, Southern, Central and West Africa
- Africa includes all 54 countries but excludes Western Sahara for which data is not available
The composition of the eight regional economic communities that are included in this site are as follows:
- AMU: Algeria, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Tunisia
- CEN-SAD: Benin, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Côte d’Ivoire, Djibouti, Egypt, Eritrea, The Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Kenya, Liberia, Libya, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Niger, Nigeria, São Tomé and Príncipe, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Sudan, Togo, Tunisia
- COMESA: Burundi, Comoros, DR Congo, Djibouti, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Eswatini, Kenya, Libya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Rwanda, Seychelles, Somalia, Sudan, Tunisia, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe.
- EAC: Burundi, DR Congo, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda
- ECCAS: Angola, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, DR Congo, Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Rwanda, São Tomé and Príncipe
- ECOWAS (similar to West Africa): Benin, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Côte d’Ivoire, The Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Togo
- IGAD: Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan, Uganda
- SADC: Angola, Botswana, Comoros, DR Congo, Eswatini, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, South Africa, Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe
Maps: Borders and delimitations follow international practice. Disputed borders are indicated in red.
Poverty lines: This website uses the World Bank extreme poverty lines of US$1.90 for low income countries (and to measure progress towards the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals), US$3.20 for lower-middle income countries, US$5.50 for upper middle-income Africa and US$22.70 for high income countries. All are defined in 2011 US$ prices. In May 2022 the Bank announced that it would be using US$2.15 in 2017 prices as the new international poverty line (to measure progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals) instead of US$1.90. Instead of the previous US$3.20 for low middle-income countries, the adjusted poverty line is now $3.65, and $6.85 for upper middle-income countries (instead of $5.50 in 2011 prices). The Bank has not yet announced the new poverty line for high income countries, previously set at $22.70 in 2011 prices. The Bank intends to release the associated poverty estimates in 2023. In the meanwhile this site continues to use the US$1.90, US$3.20, US$5.50 and US$22.70 poverty lines.
Carbon vs CO2: Carbon emissions are presented in billion or million tons of carbon, not CO2 equivalent. It therefore consists of the mass of the carbon component of each of the various greenhouse gases.
Jakkie Cilliers is the founder and former executive director of the Institute for Security Studies (ISS). He currently serves as chair of the ISS Board of Trustees and head of the African Futures and Innovation (AFI) programme at the Pretoria oﬃce of the ISS. His 2017 best-seller Fate of the Nation addresses South Africa’s futures from political, economic and social perspectives. His two most recent books, Africa First! Igniting a Growth Revolution (March 2020) and The Future of Africa: Challenges and Opportunities (April 2021), take a rigorous look at the continent as a whole.
Du Toit McLachlan
Du Toit McLachlan joined the ISS in February 2021 as an extern from the Auwal Socio-Economic Research Institute (ASRI) and is currently a consultant for the African Futures and Innovation programme in Pretoria. Du Toit holds an honour’s degree in international relations from the University of Pretoria.
Alize le Roux
Alize le Roux joined the ISS in May 2021 as a senior researcher in the African Futures and Innovation programme in Pretoria. Before joining the ISS, she worked as a principal geo-informatics researcher at the CSIR where she supported various local and national policy- and decision-makers with long-term planning support. Alize has 14 years’ experience in spatial data analysis, disaster risk reduction and urban and regional modelling. She has a master’s degree in geographical sciences from the University of Utrecht, specialising in multi-hazard risk assessments and spatial decision support systems.
Kouassi Yeboua joined the ISS in May 2020 as a research consultant and is currently a researcher in the African Futures and Innovation programme in Pretoria. Before joining the ISS, he was foreign trade manager at Sarina Glass in Istanbul. Kouassi has published on various issues relating to foreign direct investment in Africa and is interested in macroeconomics, international trade and ﬁnance, and econometric modelling. He has a PhD in economics from Marmara University.
Mustapha Jobarteh joined the ISS in January 2022 as a Senior Researcher in the African Futures and Innovation programme in Pretoria. Before joining ISS, Mustapha was a senior lecturer and Head of the Department of Economics and Finance at the University of the Gambia and a research fellow with the Center for Policy, Research and Strategic Studies. His interests include macroeconomics, international trade and econometric modelling. Mustapha has a PhD in economics from Istanbul Medeniyet
University, Istanbul, Turkey.
Enoch Randy Aikins
Enoch Randy Aikins joined the ISS in January 2022 as a Researcher in the African Futures and Innovation programme in Pretoria. He had been working for ISS as a research consultant since May 2021. Before that, Enoch was a research and programmes officer at the Institute for Democratic Governance in Accra. He also worked as a research assistant (economic division) with the Institute for Statistical Social and Economic Research at the University of Ghana. Enoch’s interests include African politics and governance, economic development, public sector reform and poverty and inequality. He has an MPhil in economics from the University of Ghana, Legon.
Stephanie Brough is an accredited text editor (English) with over ten years’ experience editing a variety of English content including humanities and law journal articles, English language teaching textbooks, reports and website content. She has a master’s degree in applied linguistics and English
language teaching from the University of Nottingham.
Matthew is an independent visual artist and content creator who is responsible for the video material on this website. He collaborates with clients to synthesise their important messages into visual mediums such as motion graphic videos, documentaries and graphic designs. Matthew has a passion for meaningful storytelling and its ability to have a positive impact on the world.
Judy Wessels joined the ISS in April 2022 as a Programme Officer for the African Futures and Innovation Programme in Pretoria. Before joining the ISS, she worked as a project administrator focusing on eco-inclusive enterprise development and capacity building. Judy has 10 years of administrative and financial work experience. She has a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of South Africa.
Angela Voges is a freelance development editor, copy-editor, production editor and proofreader in trade (fiction and non-fiction), academic and law publishing, for book publishing houses. She has written and co-written twenty-seven titles for South African schools and TVET colleges, and overwrites manuscripts for content, structure and language level, often honing text to the needs of second-language readers. She has an MA in English from the University of Cape Town, and is a member of the Professional Editors’ Guild (PEG), the Southern African Freelancers’ Association (SAFREA) and the Academic and Non-fiction Authors’ Association of South Africa (ANFASA).
Linda Pretorius is an independent editor and proofreader and has worked on educational, trade, scholarly and corporate publishing projects since 2008. She specialises in content editing of science- and analysis-based material, with a keen focus on ensuring logical flow, accuracy and readability. Linda holds a PhD in Biosystems from the University of Pretoria and is a member of the Professional Editors' Guild.
Tamzin has a Bachelors in International Relations from the University of the Witwatersrand, an Honours degree in Political Science and a Masters degree in International Studies from the University of Stellenbosch. She started her career in diplomacy working for South Africa’s Department of Foreign Affairs gaining expertise in diverse geographies from Africa and the Middle East with postings in South Asia, including India and Pakistan. After just over a decade in government she begun a law degree, through the University of South Africa and transitioned into the development sector with the National Democratic Institute where her focus was on women’s political participation and deepening and expanding democratic processes. More recently, she worked as a Manager for policy and advocacy, responsible for African operations with Habitat for Humanity International with expertise in land reform and tenure practices informality and the urban transition. She is currently a consultant in the Africa Futures and Innovation Programme – a part of the broader Institute for Security Studies.
Priscillah Jurua has been involved with the AFI project since September 2021 as the website co-ordinator. She has an extensive background in web design, development, administration and digital marketing. She holds a Msc Information Systems and Management from the University of Manchester as well as a Bachelors of Information Technology from Makerere University. She is passionate about the creative use of web technologies in the dissemination of information which facilitates decision making.
Ichizu is a project manager at Helios Design and is responsible for the design of the African Futures website. She is enthusiastic about user experience design, digital marketing ecosystems and design strategy. She is a certified IBM Enterprise Design Thinking Practitioner and has a bachelor’s degree in Business Management, Marketing and Business Communications from Bond University Australia.
Taka is a lead developer at Helios Design and is responsible for the creation of the CMS backbone of the African Futures website. He specializes in sophisticated backend website development with a specific focus on cybersecurity. Taka completed his Internet Development studies at CTI South Africa.
"The website will greatly enrich public discourse and policy making and contribute to a better understanding of how Africa can harness its vast resources and extensive energies in the cause of common prosperity."
"In a time of both ‘information overload’ and ‘post truth politics’ the ISS African Futures site is a great place to stay updated on developments across Africa. As it is constantly updated, it provides us with a relevant tool and a valuable addition to more in-depth reports and historical publications."
"A remarkable source of data and analysis that builds upon the analysis presented in The future of Africa and the numerous country studies that the team has undertaken. An incredible guide to unlock Africa’s future potential."
"What are the opportunities and challenges for development and wellbeing in Africa? Cilliers and his team provide thought-provoking, evidence-based analyses and recommendations, constantly updating the various scenarios with new data to measure progress towards Agenda 2063. This is an impressive project that offers valuable insights to policymakers and scholars, and anyone interested in the future of the continent."
"The analysis presented on this site suggests that the future lies in Africa’s ability to seize the significant opportunities opened up by its youthful population, new technologies and infrastructure innovation. Jakkie Cilliers and his team build upon their long experience in analysing Africa. An essential resource for those interested in Africa’s development."
“Qualitative tools, like the International Futures model, provide insights into a range of interacting dynamics across issue areas that impact human development and help us plan and better shape and think about how the future unfolds.”
“The website provides information that is vital and will enhance our planning for the coming decade and forecasting that will help us to deliver accelerated results-based implementation as we cannot no longer do business as usual.”
Institutionally, the support for our work on the future of Africa has come from the Hanns Seidel Foundation in Germany and the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA). Both have allowed AFI freedom in pursuit of our priorities, oﬀering ongoing support and encouragement along the way. In addition, a number of project donors supported country studies, particularly the Government of the Netherlands. Individual country reports have also been funded by USAID, Irish Aid and United Nations Development Programme. During the course of our work we have collaborated and drawn expertise from a large number of African governments, academics and African thinktanks including with AUDA-NEPAD.
The work of AFI also benefits financially from the members of the ISS Partnership forum which additionally includes the European Union, Government of Denmark, Government of Ireland, Government of Norway and the Open Society Foundations. See here for more details on ISS partners and funders, as well as for the governance structures and annual reports of the Institute.
Hanns Seidel Foundation
Gov of Netherlands
Gov of Denmark
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