President Obama on Tuesday implored African leaders to build strong economies and education systems today to provide opportunities for Africa's rapidly growing youth population, and warned that ignoring these priorities could lead to instability years down the road.
"[O]n the one hand, this could bring tremendous opportunities," Obama said of expectations that Africa's population will double in the coming decades and be made up mostly of young people. "Economists will tell you … it's a demographic edge and advantage, but only if those young people are being trained."
"We need only to look at the Middle East and North Africa to see that large numbers of young people with no jobs and stifled voices can fuel instability and disorder," he said.
"Africa will need to generate millions more jobs than it's doing right now," he said. "The choices made today will shape the trajectory of Africa and therefore the world for decades to come."