Sub-Saharan Africa will be the driving force of the world economy in 50 years, according to the USA

Speaking at a conference in Washington, Jay Shambaugh said: “It’s pretty obvious where the growth is. The next 50 years of the global economy will see history being made in sub-Saharan Africa. So, if you want to be in business, you have to be there”.

U.S. CEOs should look to two regions of the world if they want to remain competitive in the decades ahead, according to a senior U.S. Treasury official. Shambaugh, Treasury’s Assistant Secretary for International Affairs, recently highlighted the demographic trends that make this region a compelling choice for business leaders. He also asserted that the U.S. is a more attractive financing option than China for these regions.

Speaking at a conference in Washington, he said, “It’s pretty obvious where the growth is. The next 50 years of the global economy will see history being made in sub-Saharan Africa. So, if you want to be in business, you have to be there.” Sub-Saharan Africa is experiencing rapid population growth, and the World Bank estimates that by 2050, half of the more than one billion people living there will be under the age of 25. This growing youth represents an emerging market and a potentially dynamic workforce.

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Shambaugh’s comments come in the context of Washington’s efforts to help the region address challenges such as climate change and pandemic recovery, as well as broader efforts to reform debt restructuring rules. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen visited Africa in January with the aim of rekindling ties with the continent and countering Beijing’s influence. She called for the resumption of negotiations on debt restructuring for poor countries, notably Zambia.

Shambaugh acknowledged that China’s presence in the region sometimes suggests a lack of funding from global financial institutions or foreign direct investment. However, he stressed that the United States has a lot to offer. “If you ask them what they prefer when both options are on the table, I’d say our offer is better,” he said.

The United States is seeking to strengthen its presence in sub-Saharan Africa, not only for economic reasons, but also for geopolitical considerations. The rivalry between the USA and China for global influence has intensified in recent years, and Africa has become a strategic playground for both powers.

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