Investing in Children and Budget Transparency in Africa

Africa is undergoing a seismic demographic shift. Over the next 35 years, the under-18 population will grow by more than two-thirds to reach almost 1 billion by 2050. As these children reach working age, countries across the continent can benefit from accelerated economic growth via a demographic dividend. However, realizing this potential is only possible if more and better investments are made in key child-related sectors.

The proportion of children living in monetary and non-monetary poverty remains very high across the continent. Indeed, this ongoing population growth means that there are already more income-poor children in Africa today than when the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) were launched in 1990.

The continent is also undergoing a dramatic change in its development financing landscape. While official development assistance continues to be an important source of funds—particularly in countries facing humanitarian challenges—development progress for children is increasingly connected to domestic financing. Hence, successfully addressing child poverty will depend on government capacity to mobilize domestic resources—mainly through taxation—and to allocate and use these resources effectively. 

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