In a world where China and other emerging economies are ascendant, where cooperation on global governance is under challenge, and where free trade faces headwinds, Africa needs its own institutions to play a more assertive role in advancing the continent’s agenda. The potential for a more unified Africa to create never-beforeseen opportunities for trade and economic prosperity is gaining traction. Though the threat of terrorism and political instability still hangs over certain regional hotspots, neighboring African countries are leading peace negotiations and contributing to solutions. Democracy continues to spread, but hiccups seen in countries like Kenya and Zimbabwe, as well as temptations of third termism in others, underscore the need to consolidate the gains of good governance. Finally, the demographic tidal wave looms ever closer, and job creation has not yet been able to catch up.

I am optimistic that Africans will rise to these challenges in 2018 and demonstrate strength, leadership, and greater ownership of their development agendas. Foresight Africa 2018 reflects on the possibilities created by this energy.