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In Africa, in particular, a burgeoning cohort of young people – 11 million entering the job market every year – is compounding the threat.As the costs of automation fall relative to manufacturing wages, and as global industrial production becomes less labor-intensive, Africa will lose some of the advantages that it is currently counting on. With its ample low-cost labor supply, Africa also could attract these firms. But industry only accounts for about 10 percent of Africa's total employment, and the advent of automation has altered its relative cost advantage.Increased global production and falling technology costs could strike a severe blow to Africa, where economic development is likely to stall without industrialization and the expanding youth bubble shows no sign of deflating. According to current projections, Africa's working-age population will grow substantially over the next century, while that of the rest of the world shrinks. Otherwise, Africa will have the world's largest population of unemployed and frustrated youths.The rest of the world should support Africa in this race.
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