More money must be invested in Africa, Sir Bob Geldof told an audience of business leaders in Liverpool.
The Boomtown Rats and Live Aid legend, 63, was speaking at a pensions conference taking place this week at the BT Convention Centre.
Sir Bob said: “Within five years Africa will have the largest working-age population on the planet.”
He urged the delegates to pump more money into Africa, saying the continent was catching up with China as an industrial powerhouse.
“It needs the infrastructure and housing that come with that,” the Irish rocker and activist added. “Europe is retreating from modernity and Africa is now the future.”
The National Association of Pension Funds conference runs from Wednesday to Friday.
Other guest speakers include: pensions minister Steve Webb, BBC political editor Nick Robinson and Dr Steve Peters, Liverpool FC’s sports psychiatrist.
Bob Geldof speaking at the National Association of Pension Funds conference in Liverpool
Sir Bob also spoke of his fears for the future: “We have lived in an almost artificial lacuna of peace and prosperity brought about by the recognition that we could no longer keep trying to exterminate each other.
“Yet I feel tremendous tension in the world. I am 63 and I go around the world possibly three times a year. I pick up on a sense of great friction.
“The systems we have built are no longer sustainable, they simply are not.
“In fact, we are rebuilding the stuff that brought us to ruin almost four years ago like we have learned almost nothing. The current politics and economics no longer pertain.
“In this great period of change, can we really afford to go back 100 years?”
Sir Bob shot to fame with the Boomtown Rats before organising the Live Aid concert in 1985 and Live 8 in 2005. The two campaigns led to the cancelling of billions of dollars of third-world debt.
The Boomtown Rats are performing at the Liverpool O2 Academy on October 23.