By Catherine Cheney
From the article:
SEATTLE — Rapid population growth, particularly in Africa, represents the greatest threat to progress in reducing global poverty, according to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, whose founders are calling for greater investments in human capital to transform the youth bulge into a development opportunity.
“The reason we started our foundation is that current trends don’t have to continue,” Bill and Melinda Gates, the billionaire co-chairs of the largest private foundation in the world, wrote in their second annual Goalkeepers report, released on Tuesday. “We believe — and history proves — that poor countries can chart a new course by investing in their young people.”
In the report, Alex Ezeh, a visiting fellow at the Center for Global Development, referred to population issues as the elephant in the room when it comes to conversations about Africa.
“I think about the future of my continent in terms of three questions: Are Africans healthy? Do they have access to a good education? And do they have opportunities to apply their skills?” he wrote in an essay included in this year’s Goalkeepers.
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