Rising awareness of Africa's mostly youthful populations has drawn attention to related opportunities and risks. To accurately scope and address these challenges requires clearly ascertaining the underlying dimensions of the demographic transition. It may also be useful for “younger” countries to learn selectively from the experiences of “older countries” in terms of a proactive approach to population structure and economic development over time. China, although very different from African nations in many respects, could offer an unusually useful and unique economic demography reference point. Gradually from 1980, China implemented a highly restrictive family planning agenda, the One-Child Policy. One consequence of that policy was an elevated and continuous importance placed on the interdependence of population structure and development. This paper attempts to show that, regardless of present and future circumstances of national economic demography, any African country could benefit, directly and indirectly, from an understanding of China's particular economic demography transition approach. A local equivalent could not only prompt more optimal intertemporal population structure-weighted policymaking, but also draw attention to the shifting global economic demography trends and related prospective consequences for African development.

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