Welcome to the ISS African Futures and Innovation platform, where we envision Africa's future through advanced forecasting. Our site offers in-depth scenarios and trajectories modelled for each African country, aligned with the African Union’s Agenda 2063 vision, to illuminate the continent's progress towards a united, prosperous future. The country-level forecasts and impacts are integrated and presented at the regional level for various geographic and economic communities, such as North Africa or ECOWAS. Further, we provide a combined continental outlook.

We also examine various themes ranging from demographics to Africa's energy transition and explain the impact of each, including how global developments impact Africa's development trajectory.

Our continuously updated forecasts, developed through global dialogues and rigorous analysis, provide a unique dynamic resource for understanding Africa's development potential up to 2043 and beyond. Our comprehensive tool empowers policymakers, researchers, and stakeholders to shape informed strategies for an integrated and peaceful Africa. In addition to our modelling work through this website, we offer research services, consultation workshops, capacity-building events, and outreach via our various digital materials, such as Our Blog.


About Agenda 2063

The African Union's (AU) 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 seven aspirations and 15 flagship projects. It is being operationalised in successive 10-year plans.

The first 10-year implementation plan concludes in 2023. The associated AU progress report is available here. The three main objectives of the second plan, 2024 to 2033, are 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

Foundational Analysis and Literature

The analytical groundwork on our platform is an extension of the insights from three books written by Dr Jakkie Cilliers, founder and former executive director of the Institute for Security Studies who heads the African Futures & Innovation program at the ISS. They provide the concepts which guide our forecasts and scenarios.

The book Africa First! Igniting a Growth Revolution (Jonathan Ball, 2020) is only available as a print edition. All other three books, The Future of Africa (Palgrave Macmillan, 2021), Fate of the Nation (Jonathan Ball, 2017), and Africa Tomorrow: Pathways to Prosperity (Institute for Security Studies, 2022) are available for free download under our Resources

The website was officially launched by President Cyril Ramaphosa in June 2022 in the company of the CEO of AUDA-NEPAD, Ms Nardos Bekele-Thomas.

Read more about Dr Jakkie Cilliers, his work, and his publications via his personal website

Global Dialogues and Technical Model

Between October 2020 and February 2021, we conducted 15 high-level global dialogues to refine our scenarios and validate forecasts. These collaborative sessions united top global thinkers to scrutinise Africa’s potential development paths. From March 2021 to September 2021, our team actively engaged in diverse forums to present and enhance these forecasts, culminating in the launch of our website in June 2022. 

For our work, we use the International Futures (IFs) forecasting model. It is developed and hosted by the Frederick S. Pardee Center for International Futures at the Josef Korbel School of International Studies, University of Denver, USA. The IFs is an integrated platform for thinking about long-term, country-specific, regional and global development.

We constantly update the information we use by considering new geographical and thematic developments, also urging users to stay informed about the latest version of the IFs model and publication dates applied. Read more about the IFs model and scenarios below.

Resources and Interactive Tools

All updates and enhancements are driven by the latest data, improvements in the IFs forecasting model and adjustments in global standards like the World Bank country groups and poverty lines. The resources we use are always indicated in the text via citations.

To visually represent the complex interrelationships and forecasts, our site offers several interactive tools, including: an interactive geographical map, summary slides for direct presenting, interactive thematic diagrams and sectoral scenario graphs. These visual aids help in understanding the intricate dynamics of Africa's development journey and the interconnected nature of various developmental factors.


Current Path and Timeframes

Our website features a detailed Current Path forecast which imitates continuing current policies and environmental conditions. It provides the likely development trajectory for Africa if no major shocks occur, and therefore sets the context for the ambitious improvements that could be achieved which we model in our diverse scenarios. 

The Current Path aligns with the second 10-year implementation plan of the African Union's Agenda 2063, spanning from 2024 to 2033. We assess the impact of our scenarios up to 2043 which is the end of the third 10-year implementation plan and sometimes to 2063, providing long-term perspectives on Africa's development.

Evolving Scenario Structures and Themes

Initially, our website modelled 11 distinct scenarios for each geography or region, each linked to a specific theme. However, we revised this structure by the end of 2022 to provide a more balanced representation. 

We delinked the scenarios from themes and now feature eight comprehensive scenarios per geography or region. These are each explained in the theme pages of this website. The impact of each is compared with the Current Path and a Combined Agenda 2063 scenario. The eight scenarios are:

(1) Demographics and Health/WaSH: A more rapid demographic transition and investments in better health and water, sanitation and hygiene infrastructure.

(2) Agriculture: Food security and an agricultural revolution.

(3) Education: Better and more education looking at quantity, quality and relevance.

(4) Manufacturing: A low-end manufacturing transition.

(5) AFCFTA: The full implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).

(6) Large Infrastructure and Leapfrogging: The impact of renewables, ICT and the more rapid formalisation of the informal sector.

(7) Financial Flows: More inward financial flows consisting of aid, foreign direct investment, remittances and illicit financial flows.

(8) Governance: Better governance consisting of stability, capacity and inclusion.

Some scenarios are, therefore, associated with two themes. An example is scenario (1) which combines parameters for both ‘Demographics and Health’, despite these two themes being discussed in detailed content on the separate subpages ‘Demographics’ and ‘Health/WaSH’.

Sectoral scenarios

Combined Agenda 2063 and Continental Outlook

A unique aspect of our platform is the Combined Agenda 2063 scenario which is a combination of all eight sectoral scenarios. It amalgamates their impacts to provide an optimistic continental view of Africa's developmental ceiling by 2043. Actual improvement is likely more modest.

Besides, we delve into the impacts on the additional sectors of employment, energy, climate change and gender which are presented on separate theme pages. A final theme, ‘Africa in the World’ models global influences on Africa's progress. 

The relationship of all scenarios to one another is depicted below:


How to use this site

There are several ways for you to use and navigate our website: 


Use the drop-down menu at the top of each page (or the hamburger menu top left, depending on your screen size) to navigate our different pages. You can access individual countries, geographic regions, economic regions and income groups via the ‘Geographies’ tab. You can access all thematic analyses via the ‘Themes’ tab, including the ‘Current Path’, ‘Combined Agenda’ and ‘Africa in the World’. Further, you can access our Blog, Activities and Resources through the menu.  

Home Page & AI Assistant

On our home page, you have several interactive options to choose from: 

  • Type keywords into the AI Chatbot function to activate a personalised search and to comprehensively ‘talk’ to the entire site. The AI Chatbot is also available on every other page via the floating icon on the bottom left.
  • Scroll down to access the ‘Current Path’, each ‘Theme’ and the ‘Combined Agenda’ from the interactive icons.
  • Scroll down to select a country on the interactive geographic map to directly navigate to its scenario analyses. 

Theme or Geography Pages

Once you find yourself on a specific Theme or Geography, you can jump to another topic or country. Choose what you want to access by typing into the selection box at the top of each page or access the drop down menu.

Each page also provides access to the AI Chatbot via the floating icon on the bottom left.

Interactive Charts

All charts on our website can be enlarged (pop-out function) and used interactively (selecting from the various drop-down menus in the chart). You can directly switch to another analysis or location within each chart by accessing the selection from the selection box.

PDF Downloads

Each of our analyses (all Geographies and Themes) are open-source and free for you to download. 

Click the 'Download to PDF' button - either for an entire page, or a section of your choice and save the document for further use.  


Please subscribe to our Emailing List. This allows us to send you our monthly Newsletter and notifications about our events and blog publications. We would be thrilled to keep you updated about our work!

Click the 'Subscribe' button in the main menu, or in the footer at the bottom of a page. This subscription only entails providing your name and email address, with no further obligations or costs. 

Modelling platform

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 an integrated forecasting platform for thinking about long-term, country-specific, regional, and global development, including on  progress towards achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.

Free and open-source, IFs is the most comprehensive forecasting platform in the public domain, and is used extensively by African and international agencies. It has also been regularly sourced by the US National Intelligence Council and others.

The IFs tool draws from multiple modelling methods and integrates them to form relationships in global systems and generate forecasts. The model is, therefore, hybrid in structure that includes stock-and-flow and equilibrating feedback. 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.

Modelling Techniques

IFs forecasts development for 186 countries and their interaction, including 54 countries and territories in Africa. It blends different modelling techniques to form relationships based on academic literature to generate forecasts. IFs is, therefore, a dynamic, recursive system with annual time-steps. It uses historical data from 1960 (where available) to identify trends and produce a 'Current Path' scenario from 2019 (the current base year) to 2100. The Current Path scenario (or Base Case) is, therefore, a result of dynamic interactions across critical systems based on prevailing policies and environmental conditions rather than a linear extrapolation of trends.

IFs is one of the few global modelling platforms capable of projecting SDG achievement across all SDGs at the country level and has been widely used in the analysis of African development. Collectively, the IFs platform projects more than 700 variables, of which more than 100 represent the goals and targets of the SDGs. IFs still uses several traditional measures of economic size, growth and distribution, such as GDP, GDP per capita, Gini and GEM (gender empowerment measure). New indices and data are phased in as global data sets become available, often only several years after the launch. Examples include using the UNCTAD Inclusive Growth Index and the UNDP Gender Development Index (GDI).

Data Challenges

Data in Africa is a big problem. For instance, in 12 African countries, the last census was conducted before 2010, and no census has been completed after the cessation of South Sudan from Sudan, meaning that basic statistics for these two countries should be treated with caution. The latest census in Somalia was conducted in 1987. Poor data inevitably translates into poor forecasts, including for the SDGs, where indicators such as secondary school enrolment and completion have notable gaps.

With that caveat, the data series within IFs (more than 5 500 series integrated within it) 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. These organisations invest considerable resources in harmonising data for comparisons between countries and sometimes use alternative sources to estimate missing data. Still, the available data often needs to catch up to the current year.

Forecasting requires that IFs be able to initialise from this incomplete historical data. To fill the associated 'data gaps', IFs has a powerful pre-processing function that estimates current data and allows for forecasts.  Because IFs produce forecasts that move beyond a linear extrapolation, their projections have historically been comparable to the data that international organisations and national governments ultimately release.

Where possible and where data is available and comparable, we update the data in IFs with national statistics sourced from national data providers. This is, however, labour-intensive and only possible when doing extended analysis on a specific country or region. National governments may also use different standards and definitions, such as national poverty instead of the international poverty line, meaning that updates must be validated and done with care.


The IFs model integrates forecasts for different sub-modules: population, economy, agriculture, education, energy, governance, international politics, environment, technology, infrastructure, 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 endogenises more relationships from a broader range of critical global systems than any other model. Below is a visual representation of the significant sub-modules in IFs, followed by an explanation of some.

Key sub-modules in IFs

Link to Understanding the IFs model.

The Economic Module in IFs 

The IFs economic module is a complex, global system that predicts economic changes every year. It links detailed country data and global information to understand how economies interact. Here are its key features:

  • Economic Growth: The model predicts economic growth by considering factors like productivity, capital (like machinery and buildings), and labour (workers).
  • Government Role: It has a detailed way of showing how governments earn and spend money.
  • Balanced Economy: It balances different parts of the economy, like farming, energy, and technology, and includes informal (unofficial) economic activities. It also looks at income inequality and poverty.
  • Inputs and Outputs: Information from other areas affects how much is produced, and the model's results (like GDP) are important for other areas.
  • Model Foundations: The model uses established economic theories and a production formula (Cobb-Douglas) that includes labour, capital, and multifactor productivity (how effectively resources are used). Multifactor productivity depends on factors like education, government effectiveness, infrastructure, and research.
  • Economy Sectors: The economy is divided into six areas: agriculture, raw materials, energy, manufacturing, services, and technology. The model makes sure that production and trade are balanced.
  • Government Spending and Debt: Changes in government debt influence spending patterns that then affect areas like education and infrastructure.
  • Poverty Analysis: It looks at poverty by considering production, resource distribution, and population changes. It uses a complex formula (Cobb-Douglas with Solow residual) and considers income distribution and inequality to predict changes in poverty. Poverty data is initially taken from the World Bank's PovCalNet.

For more technical information on the IFs economic module, including poverty, see: 


The Infrastructure Module in IFs

The IFs infrastructure model looks at two types:

  1. Core Infrastructure: This includes roads, electricity generation, water and sanitation facilities, and Information and Communication Technology (ICT).

  2. Other Infrastructure: This covers railroads, ports, and airports.

The model mainly predicts changes in physical infrastructure, like road density, electricity availability, irrigation systems, and access to water and sanitation. Here's how it works:

  • Water and Sanitation Access: Access is divided into categories: unimproved, improved, and piped water; and unimproved, shared, and improved sanitation. Predictions for future access are based on factors like GDP per capita, average education years of adults, government health spending, and urban population share. However, the actual increase in safe water and sanitation access depends on available government funding.
  • Electricity Access: This is predicted based on population changes, urbanisation, government effectiveness, and poverty levels. The model differentiates between rural and urban areas, usually assuming better urban access.
  • Impact on Growth and Health: Infrastructure improvements affect economic growth by increasing productivity. Moreover, access to water and sanitation plays a crucial role in child health, including reducing undernourishment and stunting.

For more technical information on the IFs infrastructure model, see:


The Agriculture Module in IFs

The IFs agriculture model focuses on three main areas: crops, meat, and fish. It examines their supply and demand, including imports, exports, and prices. These agricultural products are used for direct consumption, animal feed, industry, and food manufacturing. Key elements of the model include:

  • Land and Water Use: It tracks how land and water are used, which is crucial for farming.
  • Balancing Supply and Demand: Like in its economic model, IFs tries to balance agricultural supply and demand using a system that includes stocks and prices. It doesn't aim for perfect balance at every moment but tries to achieve it over time.
  • Factors Affecting Production: Agricultural output depends on resources like land, livestock, capital, labour, climate, and technology. Technology improves how much can be produced, like higher crop yields or more meat from less feed grain.
  • Losses and Wastage: The model considers losses at various stages – in the fields, during distribution, and at homes. These losses are influenced by average income.
  • Demand Factors: Income, prices, and other factors shape demand for agricultural products. For instance, changes in what people eat can affect meat demand, impacting the need for crops used as animal feed. The use of crops for biofuels, influenced by energy prices, is also factored in.

For more technical information on the IFs agriculture model, see:


The Governance Module in IFs

The IFs governance model predicts how governments will perform in three areas:

  1. Capacity: How well a government can function and serve its people.

  2. Inclusiveness: How much it includes different groups in decision-making.

  3. Security: The government's ability to maintain peace and prevent conflicts.

Key aspects of the module include:

  • Government Security: This is influenced by how stable a country is and the likelihood of internal conflicts. Security affects the country's economy and population, including how people live and move.
  • Corruption's Impact: Corruption is a crucial factor that affects government capacity. It impacts how effectively and responsibly a government operates.
  • Determinants of Corruption/Transparency: Corruption levels are linked to several factors:
    • Economic development (measured by GDP per capita).
    • Gender empowerment and equality.
    • The level of democracy in the country.
    • Dependence on energy exports, although this is a less strong influence.

These factors explain about 80% of the differences in cross-country corruption, based on the latest data from Transparency International's Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI).

For more technical information on the IFs governance model, see:


The Education Module in IFs 

The IFs education model predicts how education will develop in each country, focusing on:

  1. Adult Educational Attainment: The education levels achieved by adults.

  2. Children's Graduation Rates: How many children of the right age complete their education.

The model tracks students' journey from primary to tertiary education (like college), considering both boys and girls. It looks at factors like demographic changes and economic factors (the country's economic situation and how much the government invests in education).

The module measures education quantity (the number of students in school) and education quality (how well students perform in maths, science, and reading). Students’ progress through the education system from primary to higher levels based on transition rates (moving from one education level to the next), graduation rates (completing each education stage), and dropout and re-entry rates (leaving and rejoining the education system).

Education spending is linked to GDP per capita, demand for education (based on the number of children of school-going age), and government spending for education. The model also shows how education affects economic growth (through improving productivity) and population dynamics (influencing things like birth rates).

For more technical information on the IFs education model, see:


The Demographic Module in IFs

The IFs demographic model predicts population changes in each country. It looks at the number of people of different ages and genders and how this changes over time due to births, deaths, and people moving in or out of a country (migration). Here's how it works:

  • Population Calculation: The number of people each year is calculated by taking the population from the previous year, adding new births, and subtracting deaths.
  • Fertility Rates: This is about how many children the average woman is likely to have during her lifetime. As countries develop economically (higher GDP per capita) and adults get more education, the average number of children per woman typically decreases. Other factors like infant mortality rates and the use of contraception also play a role.
  • Mortality Rates: This is about how many people die each year, which the health module of IFs helps to determine.
  • Migration: The model predicts people moving between countries using a "push-pull" logic, meaning it looks at reasons why people might leave a country (push factors) and reasons why they might move to a country (pull factors).

For more technical information on the IFs demographic and health models, see:



The Energy Module in IFs

The IFs energy model predicts how energy is used and produced in countries, focusing on:

  1. Demand and Supply: It looks at how much energy is needed (demand) and how much is available (supply). The model balances these by considering prices, trade, and investment.

  2. Factors Influencing Demand: Three main things shape energy demand:

  • Economic Size: How big the economy is.
  • Population: How many people are in the country.
  • Energy Intensity: This measures how much energy is used for each unit of economic activity (GDP). It shows how efficiently energy is used and changes with:
    • The country's development level.
    • Advances in technology.
    • Energy prices.

The Energy module is also used to assess current and future carbon emissions for Africa, especially resulting from the different sectoral scenarios and an anticipated energy transition. Data and estimates for carbon emissions are complex, and categories overlap. IFs provides data and forecasts of carbon emissions from fossil fuel consumption and cement production, originally from the Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center (CDIAC), now from the Total Carbon Column Observing Network (TCCON), and includes estimates of carbon released due to deforestation and land use change. The associated forecasts presented in our themes on Africa's Climate Futures and Africa’s Energy Futures benefit from the breadth and interconnected nature of the IFs forecasting platform in a debate with vast datasets and analyses dedicated to specific matters but less attuned to the macro-implications and scenarios associated with energy transitions and the associated carbon emissions. 

For more technical information on the IFs energy models, see:


Data and Classifications


Where required, US$ numbers from IFs have been converted from 2011 US$ to 2017 US$ values at a rate of 1:1.09 from the US Inflation Calculator. That was needed in IFs versions 7.84, 7.92 and 7.96 that used 2011 values. IFs version 8.06 and onward use 2017 US$ values.

Country Groupings and Regions

This website uses the 2021/22 World Bank country income group classification for all analyses done using IFs 7.84, 7.92 and 7.96. All analyses done using IFs 8.06 and higher use the 2023/24 country income groups. This is indicated in the text as appropriate. The World Bank changed the categories of Guinea and Zambia in mid-2023 from low- to lower-middle-income. Countries are not removed from the groups they are being compared to. For example, Mozambique remains part of low-income Africa when it is compared to the group.

The user is advised to confirm the country composition of the African regions as used in the various geographies. In mid-2023 we moved to the use of the regions as defined by the AU and AUDA-NEPAD, available on the AU website here, and we are phasing this in across the site.

Initially, the regional composition that was used is listed below and was used in IFs versions 7.84 to 7.96:

  • 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, Cabo Verde, Côte d’Ivoire, The Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Togo - equivalent to ECOWAS
  • Sub-Saharan Africa consists of the countries of East, Southern, Central and West Africa
  • Africa includes all 54 countries but excludes Western Sahara, for which data was unavailable. As from IFs version 8.06, Africa has Western Sahara as a 55th country.

The composition of the eight regional economic communities that are included in this site is as follows:

  • AMU: Algeria, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Tunisia
  • CEN-SAD: Benin, Burkina Faso, Cabo 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. Somalia joined the EAC in November 2023.
  • ECCAS: Angola, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, DR Congo, Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Rwanda, São Tomé and Príncipe
  • ECOWAS: Benin, Burkina Faso, Cabo Verde, Côte d’Ivoire, The Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Togo. In February 2024, the military regimes in Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger announced that they would immediately leave ECOWAS, following the coups in the various countries.
  • 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

Regions in the rest of the world that are used on the website are as follows:

  • East Asia: China, Hong Kong, Japan, North Korea, South Korea, Mongolia and Taiwan
  • South America: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Uruguay and Venezuela
  • South Asia: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Iran, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka


Borders and delimitations follow international practice. Disputed borders are indicated in red.

Poverty Lines

The analyses done using IFs version 7.84, 7.92 and 7.96 on this website use 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 use 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 lower-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 yet to announce the new poverty line for high-income countries, previously set at $22.70 in 2011 prices. We use the updated poverty lines for all analyses done using IFs 8.06 and more recent versions.

Carbon vs CO2

Carbon emissions are presented in billions or millions of tons of carbon, not CO2 (carbon dioxide) equivalents. A ton of carbon therefore, consists of the mass of the carbon component of each greenhouse gas and not only CO2. A ton of carbon is roughly equivalent to 3.67 tons of CO2.

Energy production

Data on energy production is in six types, namely oil, gas, coal, hydro, nuclear and other renewables. The data is converted into million or billion barrels of oil equivalent (BOE) to allow for comparisons between different sources. 

Informal sector

Estimations and data on the informal sector are often unreliable and must be treated carefully. Researchers generally distinguish between the shadow and informal economy. According to the ILO: ‘The informal economy refers to all economic activities by workers and economic units that are – in law or in practice – not covered or insufficiently covered by formal arrangements. Where data is not available, IFs estimate the size. Note that the ILO definition of employment in the informal economy excludes the agricultural sector

Agriculture production

The agricultural production and demand data in the IFs forecasting platform initialises from data provided on food balances by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). IFs contains data on numerous types of agriculture but aggregate its forecast into crops, meat and fish, presented in million metric tons.

Economic sectors

The IFs platform uses data from the Global Trade and Analysis Project (GTAP) to classify economic activity into six sectors: agriculture, energy, materials (including mining), manufacturing, services and information and communication technologies (ICT). Most other sources use a threefold distinction between only agriculture, industry and services, with the result that data may differ. The differences in sectoral composition is often evident in the transition from the base year to the first forecast year.

Our team

Jakkie Cilliers

Jakkie Cilliers

Dr Jakkie Cilliers is the ISS's founder and former executive director. 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 Institute. His 2017 best-seller Fate of the Nation addresses South Africa’s futures from political, economic and social perspectives. His three most recent books, Africa First! Igniting a Growth Revolution (March 2020), The Future of Africa: Challenges and Opportunities (April 2021), and Africa Tomorrow: Pathways to Prosperity (June 2022) take a rigorous look at the continent as a whole.

Du Toit McLachlan

Du Toit McLachlan

Mr Du Toit McLachlan joined the ISS in February 2021. He holds an honour’s degree in international relations from the University of Pretoria and is the AFI website manager. His research interests include gender equality, international trade, and international geopolitics.

Alize le Roux

Alize le Roux

Ms Alize le Roux joined the AFI in May 2021 as a senior researcher. Before joining the ISS, she worked as a principal geo-informatics researcher at the CSIR, supporting various local and national policy- and decision-makers with long-term planning support. Alize has 14 years of 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

Kouassi Yeboua

Dr Kouassi Yeboua  is a senior researcher in African Futures and Innovation programme in Pretoria. He recently served as lead author on ISS studies on the long-term development prospects of the DR Congo, the Horn of Africa, Nigeria and Malawi. Kouassi has published on various issues relating to foreign direct investment in Africa and is interested in development economics, macroeconomics, international economics, and economic modelling. He has a PhD in Economics. 

Enoch Randy Aikins

Enoch Randy Aikins

Mr Enoch Randy Aikins joined the AFI in 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, poverty and inequality. He has an MPhil in economics from the University of Ghana, Legon.

Blessing Chipanda

Blessing Chipanda

Dr Blessing Chipanda joined the African Futures and Innovation (AFI) programme in January 2023. Before joining the ISS he worked as an assistant lecturer/ research assistant at the University of Pretoria, Department of Economics. He is particularly interested in tasks within the wider realm of international trade, development economics, public policy, monetary policy, and econometric modelling. Equally interested in economic and socio-economic activities that impact social welfare. Blessing has a PhD in economics from the University of Pretoria, South Africa.

Judith Wessels

Judith Wessels

Ms 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 ten years of administrative and financial work experience. She has a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of South Africa.

Tumi Mkhize-Malebo

Tumi Mkhize-Malebo

Ms Tumi Mkhize-Malebo joined the ISS in May 2023 as an AFI intern and is now Junior Research Officer. Before that, Tumi worked as an operations intern at Uber. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in economics and econometrics from the University of Johannesburg and is a graduand set to complete her Honours degree in economics from the University of South Africa.

Priscillah Jurua

Priscillah Jurua

Ms 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.

Julia Baum

Julia Baum

Dr Julia Baum joined the AFI in January 2024 as Website Consultant, comprehensively reviewing content and enhancing the user experience. Since May 2024, she further acts as Communications Consultant curating the weekly Blog and monthly Newsletter. Julia has a background in environmental science and business administration. She combines work in the nature conservation sector with entrepreneurship.  

Matthew Griffiths

Matthew Griffiths

Mr Matthew Griffiths 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.

Ichizu Wakabayashi

Ichizu Wakabayashi

Ms Ichizu Wakabayashi 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 Wakabayashi

Taka Wakabayashi

Mr Taka Wakabayashi 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.

H. E. Cyril Ramaphosa, President of 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."

H. E. Cyril Ramaphosa, President of South Africa

Nikolai Hegertun, Senior Advisor, Department of Knowledge Norad, Oslo

"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."

Nikolai Hegertun, Senior Advisor, Department of Knowledge Norad, Oslo

Rita Abrahamsen, Professor Graduate School of Public and International Affairs and Director, Centre for International Policy Studies (CIPS), University of Ottawa, Canada

"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."

Rita Abrahamsen, Professor Graduate School of Public and International Affairs and Director, Centre for International Policy Studies (CIPS), University of Ottawa, Canada

Maxi Schoeman, Professor Emeritus, Department of Political Sciences, Faculty of Humanities, University of Pretoria

"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."

Maxi Schoeman, Professor Emeritus, Department of Political Sciences, Faculty of Humanities, University of Pretoria

Gilbert Khadiagala, Jan Smuts Professor of International Relations, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa

"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."

Gilbert Khadiagala, Jan Smuts Professor of International Relations, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa

Professor Jonathan Moyer, Assistant Professor and Director of the Frederick S. Pardee Center for International Futures at the Josef Korbel School of International Studies

“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.”

Professor Jonathan Moyer, Assistant Professor and Director of the Frederick S. Pardee Center for International Futures at the Josef Korbel School of International Studies

Ms. Bekele-Thomas, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of AUDA-NEPAD

“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 do business as usual.”

Ms. Bekele-Thomas, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of AUDA-NEPAD

Mathew Burrows, Distinguished Fellow at the Stimson Center

"Jakkie Cilliers and his ISS team's study on the future of African in the World is a model for anyone who aspires to contemplate in a systematic and comprehensive way the future, not just for Africa, but other regions of the world.  The ISS team has managed to weave together the external global trends with those inside Africa to depict key scenarios for all of Africa as well as individual African states, showing the political, economic, technological and social implications."

Mathew Burrows, Distinguished Fellow at the Stimson Center

Dr. Raymond Gilpin, Chief Economist and Head of Strategy, Analysis and Research at UNDP Africa

“Economic development is all about strategic investments today that shape tomorrow.  Africa Futures affords development practitioners an indispensable tool to rationalize investments, respond to shocks and map future development pathways.”

Dr. Raymond Gilpin, Chief Economist and Head of Strategy, Analysis and Research at UNDP Africa

Prof. Clionadh Raleigh, President and CEO, Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project

”I love the contributions and the extension of the conflict trajectories under different governance scenerios.”

Prof. Clionadh Raleigh, President and CEO, Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project

Our partners

Institutionally, the support for our work on the future of Africa has come from the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA) and the Hanns Seidel Foundation in Germany. 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. Humanity United have funded a number of the thematic studies and the revision of current themes. 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.

Sweden Sverige




Hanns Seidel Foundation

Hanns Seidel Foundation

Government of the Netherlands

Gov of Netherlands



Government of Denmark

Gov of Denmark



Irish Aid

Irish Aid

European Union

European Union



Humanity United

Humanity United

Reuse our work

  • All visualizations, data, and text produced by African Futures are completely open access under the Creative Commons BY license. You have the permission to use, distribute, and reproduce these in any medium, provided the source and authors are credited.
  • The data produced by third parties and made available by African Futures is subject to the license terms from the original third-party authors. We will always indicate the original source of the data in our documentation, so you should always check the license of any such third-party data before use and redistribution.
  • All of our charts can be embedded in any site.
Chat to our site