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Episode 42
Featuring Fred Swaniker
By 2050, almost a quarter of the world’s population will live in African countries. Helping these individuals succeed and participate in the world economy can help us avert global catastrophe. What is the most effective way of doing that? Education. Here, Fred Swaniker explains why our future depends on empowering Africa.

By the year 2050, the human population will increase by a staggering 2.4 billion. According to data from the UN World Population Prospects, the figures are cause for great concern. Researchers worry that our planet may not have the carrying capacity to sustain a population of this size; however, their primary concern stems from the fact that a majority of the increases will take place in the world’s most depressed areas. In fact, experts predict that approximately 50% of the increase will take place in African countries. Put another way, by 2050, a quarter of the world’s population will live in Africa.

 

Some may contend that there’s no real cause for concern — 2050 is still decades away and that we have plenty of time. This leaves out the crucial fact that in just seventeen years, Africa will have the largest workforce in the world. 

 

By giving these individuals the tools and resources necessary to succeed, we can help ensure that they become valued and productive members of society. By ensuring that they have the opportunities necessary to participate on the world stage, we can secure for future generations an era of unimaginable innovation and prosperity. The alternative? The mass unemployment, starvation, poverty, and displacement of over a billion people — a global catastrophe the likes of which we’ve yet to witness in the modern age.   

 

The difference between the abundance narrative and the scarcity narrative rests on one simple thing: Education and the leadership skills that it fosters. Seventeen years is just 6,000 days away. Time is short, and it’s passing remarkably fast. We must act now. And we are.

 

Fred Swaniker is the co-founder of three organizations that aim to catalyze a new generation of ethical, entrepreneurial leaders in Africa: the African Leadership Academy, the African Leadership Network, and the African Leadership University. His paradigm-shifting approach to education is transforming how we conceptualize learning. But more than that, through his work Swaniker is empowering a generation and creating a revolution in Africa.

 

In this episode, Swaniker talks with host Demetri Kofinas about the difference between financial poverty and poverty of the spirit, the importance of faith and determination, and why our future depends on empowering Africa.
 

Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas

Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou

Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod

Fred ​Swaniker is the co-founder of three organizations that aim to catalyze a new generation of ethical, entrepreneurial African leaders: African Leadership Academy, African Leadership Network, and African Leadership University. Collectively, these institutions aim to groom 3 million leaders for Africa over a 50-year period.

 

A passionate entrepreneur, Fred also served as Founder and CEO of Terra Education, a global education company that today provides leadership training to about 4,000 people annually at 46 sites in 20 countries in Latin America, Asia, Africa, and Europe. Prior to his work in education, Swaniker co-founded Synexa Life Sciences, a biotechnology company with operations in Cape Town, Berlin, London, and Dublin. Prior to launching his entrepreneurial pursuits, Swaniker worked as a management consultant at McKinsey & Company in South Africa. Swaniker has been recognized as a ​Young Global Leader ​by the World Economic Forum and was listed by Forbes Magazine among the top ten young ‘power men’ in Africa.

 

Fred has an MBA from Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business, where he was named an ​Arjay Miller Scholar​, a distinction awarded to the top 10% of each graduating class. He holds a BA in Economics with a minor in Mathematical Statistics from Macalester College (​magna cum laude). ​He was born in Ghana but has lived and worked in about 10 different African countries.

 

@FredSwaniker

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