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ISSN : 1750-4554 E-ISSN: 1750-4562
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Achieving demographic dividends results in a positive transformation of a burgeoning developing economy. The achievement implies that the dividend is well utilized and channeled to impact positively on productive employment, savings, capital investment causing increased national GDP per capita (Admassie et al., 2016) and inclusive growth of a nation for long-term sustainable development (Adeleye et al., 2020; Ejemeyovwi and Osabuohien, 2018; Drummond et al., 2014; UN/ECA/UNFPA, 2013). Africa's demographic dividend is best harnessed by creating the right environment that fosters gainful employment and entrepreneurship, health and wellbeing (including family planning), education and skills development, and rights, governance, and youth employment (UNFPA, 2017; Zulu, 2017; Megquier Belohlav, 2014) based on family size reduction and increased life expectancy of a population. The 14 articles in this Special Edition targeted directly or indirectly various aspects of the demographic dividend. From improved productive economies to enabling economic environment strategies and enhanced economic growth for sustainable development in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). Perhaps, the uniqueness of this Special Edition derives from its articulation of how to harness and fine-tune human, financial, and material capital. This includes identifying and proffering game-changers solutions for efficient use of harnessed resources and how to balance or reduce uncertainties depicted by shocks in the economies of SSA towards sustained economic growth and development. Some articles examined demographic dividend fallouts on the Nigerian economy from the perspective of the manufacturing sector. Afolabi et al. (2021) on the manufacturing sector reveals the challenges of small and medium scale businesses in Nigeria. It provides solutions that will enable policymakers and entrepreneurs in the paint industry to foster growth and expansion. Giwa et al. (2021) addressed the linkage effects of foreign direct investment (FDI) on the real sector growth and how this contributes to achieving SDG 17.3. The article maintained minimal linkage effects of FDI inflows to the manufacturing sector but no notable linkage effects with the mining, construction, and agricultural sectors. Ogundipe et al. (2021) viewed the manufacturing sector's performance from the perspective of financial deepening. The authors used evidence from the bank, non-bank, and external financing sources. The evidence suggests that bank financial deepening significantly influences manufacturing sector performance, while non-bank financial deepening does not have the same effect. Ike et al. (2021) made a unique contribution to the Nigerian manufacturing sector from the angle of audience perceptions and media reports of locally produced goods using the case study of Lagos State. Findings in this article suggest favourable media reports about the availability and quality of made-in Nigeria products leading to more audience awareness and satisfaction. Thus, the article recommends that for the sustainability of this good report, the media need to increase information and education content on audience awareness, and satisfaction which may eventually lead to audience improved value on locally made products. Olokoyo et al. (2021) examined the impact of internal and external reserve shocks on selected macroeconomic factors in Nigeria in a bid to proffer solutions for a more efficient and productive economy. Evidence from this article showed that exchange rates are sensitive to external reserve shocks. At the same time, export levels had positive effects on external reserve. The authors concluded that the Nigerian government should support and boost external reserve to ensure economic growth and sustainability. Akinyemi et al. (2021) critically analysed the impact of the institutional framework in the transition to green growth in Africa. Based on the evidence, the authors suggested that policymakers in Africa should promote and support strong economic and political-institutional frameworks for transiting to green growth for sustainable development in the region. Gershon and Nwonuala (2021) investigated the relationships between rising fertility rate and low female labour force participation, which have negative fallout on female labour force participation and is detrimental to harnessing Nigeria's demographic dividend. The article's findings showed bi-directional causality between that fertility rate and is significantly related to female labour force participation in Nigeria. Therefore, government policies should encourage childbearing women to participate more in informal businesses, thus leading to economic growth in the long run. Aderemi et al. (2021) articulated the role of agriculture in poverty reduction in Nigeria. The evidence showed a significant positive relationships between employment in agriculture and poverty level, while inflation rate and poverty level have a negative relationship with each other. Also, and agricultural output was negatively related to the poverty level. caused by a significant decrease in poverty level. In contrast, inflation and poverty level have a negative relationship. The authors of the article, therefore, recommends policy focus on increasing agricultural outputs was negatively related to the poverty level. for poverty reduction in the short run. Eriki et al. (2021) examined the effects of unclaimed dividends with in-house and non-in-house registers in Nigeria from 2012 to 2019. The authors concluded that in-house registers created unclaimed dividends resulting from a lack of adherence to laid down guidelines. Therefore, the authors advised the government and financial agencies to apply stringent procedure compliance in the payment of dividends in the country. With the idea of maximizing the gains of demographic dividend through inclusive growth, Karakara and Osabuohien (2021) assessed the nature of economic growth in SSA using data from the World Bank (2016) World Development Indicators between 1985 to 2014. Evidence showed a high growth rate accompanied by high inequalities in some of the ten countries studied. The study recommends that government policies should incorporate inclusive growth as part of future development plans. To adequately harness demographic dividend, it is necessary to have stable economic growth that is immune to volatility, fluctuations, and shocks. Awe et al. (2021) addressed the economic growth outcomes of the demographic dividend by examining export volatility among major non-oil export predictors in the Nigerian economy using the Bayesian time-varying parameter dynamic linear model. Evidence showed that gross domestic product (GDP) and lending rate predict fluctuations in non-oil export in the country. The article discussed some policy implications and change-point analysis for the future. Okoh et al. (2021) contributed to this Special Edition by examining key parameters that influence a country's economy, i.e., the combination of external debt and exchange rate fluctuations and effects on Nigeria's economy based on 1990 to 2017 data. It confirmed that exchange rate fluctuations and debt servicing payments have direct relationships, while foreign reserves positively influence exchange rate fluctuations. The article concludes that external debt is not a sustainable means of financing foreign debt in Nigeria. To improve ways of harnessing demographic dividend, Omojola et al. (2021) examined women's role in the workforce, focusing mainly on the motivation behind women hawking in the telephony business in Nigeria. Evidence from 625 respondents showed that hawking among these groups of women continues unabated because of the "quick and steady" money obtained. Local authorities do not collect taxes, thus enabling the trade to continue. The article concluded that the results will be useful for policymakers, and captains of industry interested in improving the conditions of women and their participation in the mainstream economy. Matthew et al. (2021) tackled another angle to the business environment by examining how business climate and institutions impact foreign direct investment in Nigeria. The evidence showed that government stability, inflation, law and order, and socioeconomic conditions significantly affect the flow of foreign direct investment in Nigeria. Thus, they recommended a policy that promotes security and provides infrastructural facilities in Nigeria. The 14 articles in this Special Edition serve as basis for designing a flexible framework (Megquier and Belohlav, 2014) for harnessing the demographic dividend of countries in SSA. Adopting a small family size norm, coupled with improved life expectancy and a vibrant, educated youthful population (Megquier and Belohlav, 2014), can serve as a catalyst to better harness the demographic dividend for future inclusive economic growth and development. A platform for the catalyst is a consciousness that the opportunity may never reoccur in most countries of SSA if not used in a timely fashion.