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Socio-economic background: Africa

The African region has a wealth of natural resources, offering myriad opportunities for human, social and economic development. Its diversity of cultures and valuable indigenous knowledge provides the necessary human capital to realize these opportunities. Nevertheless, Africa entered the 21st century facing enormous challenges.

Population (millions) by sub-region: Africa

Rates of population growth in Africa are still high - 2.4 per cent a year compared to a world average of 1.3 per cent

Source: United Nations Population Division 2001