4. Steady work is still hard to come by in Africa.
But here's the bad news: Only 28 percent of Africans currently have stable, wage-paying jobs. To reap the benefits of its positive demographics and advancements in education, Africa needs to quickly create more jobs. Although Africa has created 37 million "stable" wage-paying jobs over the past decade, 91 million people have been added to its labor force.
As a result, 9 percent of the workforce is officially unemployed, and nearly two-thirds of African workers sustain themselves through subsistence activities and low-wage self-employment -- so-called "vulnerable" jobs. Poverty may be decreasing, but it remains stubbornly high.
Youth unemployment is also a major challenge. In Egypt, one of the flash points of the Arab Spring, the adult unemployment rate is moderate -- but youth unemployment is sharply higher at 25 percent. For the sake of social and political stability, Africa needs to accelerate its creation of stable jobs that are the route to lasting prosperity and an expanding consuming class.