Africa is richer than the west. Somebody made that statement which left me aghast. I soon dashed into a pool of thoughts: Africa has droughts, deadly epidemics, civil wars and banditry, corruption, high infant mortality rate, irregular elections that spark violence and failed political systems. I didn’t want to argue with the speaker after all because I never knew what he meant. The high unemployment rate in Africa among the youth that form a paltry 62% of the population, I paused. That is enough to see the negative image in Africa.
Well, after contemplating I came to realize that indeed Africa is richer than the West and by-extension we can do better. The amounts of natural resources that are harbored in Africa are enormous. The West has better ideas than Africa-that’s why their economies are a lynchpin in the world. One of the most recommendable advancement in Africa is that, we have come out of the negative Per Capita Income Growth. The future for Africa is bright. My greatest concern is how best we can leverage the goodwill that is at our disposal. Perhaps, private -public sector partnership.
It is enough with the aid. The West and any other donor fund foundations should do invest in Africa and decimate their donor funding. Invest in Africa and help us grow our economies. Africa, without complete mapping of her resources ranks either in the first or second position.
So Africa is blessed with abundance of resources. Whatever gets ignored becomes a curse. The management of natural resources in Africa is deplorable. We got our framework wrong and all went wrong. There is increasing natural resource discovery of oil and gas in the continent: Kenya and Uganda have just made discoveries.
Having such huge deposits of natural resources, one would wonder why Africa is still poor. We have it. Africa needs to improve on its infrastructure and get disciplined. The most prudent way to exploit the resources without depleting our assets should be entrenched. Due to corruption and other vices most African nations that major in mining are left with huge debts contributing to negative Per Capita Income and very poor GDP. The issue of governance and corruption has seen the lucrative industry remain irrelevant in most nations. Most Africa countries that get into war are as a result of, sometimes, due to natural resources. A case example would be Democratic Republic Of Congo and Sudan among other countries in the Sub-Saharan Africa. Africa nations that do mining need to have a clear commodity pricing models that will decimate public funds wastage. This would act as means to reduce borrowing that leave countries with large debts to pay. Kenya, for instance has a debt of about Kshs. 1.3 Trillion.
The West improved their economies as result of: clear government policies, efficient source of labour, improved infrastructure, available market for the finished products, research and development and without alienating technology. The West empowers its citizens. Through empowerment Africans too can realize, their dream of economic sustainability. Kenya, where M-Pesa was innovated and spread to the world as means of mobile money transfer. Today in Kenya,M-Pesa contributes an enormous share of our GDP. 15 million Kenyans use M-Pesa, which processes 80 transactions a second and handles transactions responsible for 31% of the $33.62 billion GDP of Kenya, reports the Financial Times. That shows when you empower people, they can become innovative hence independent. Bill Gates observed the following in regard to M-Pesa: “Kenya’s M-Pesa proves that when people are empowered, they will use digital tech to innovate on their own behalf.” Technology by Kenyans has also seen the emergency of M-Shwari. This is a vibrant innovation. Within two months of its invention it had hit Kshs. 1 Billion mark in terms of savings by Kenyans.
Africa has the opportunity to grow. But, fundamentally economic diversification, boosting strategic infrastructure and unlocking talent should get a priority. African head of states understand that though we have the opportunity to grow but it’s not guaranteed. Not all African states are endowed with abundant natural resources. In terms of diversification, Africa should not let their economies become dependent on natural resources only. We can however try our luck in other sectors such: Agriculture, tourism and manufacturing to let our continent flourish in the world. In the coming years, Africa shall form the largest workforce in the world.
In the century most areas within African remain impassable. Infrastructure remains a key factor that spurs development. An economic scholar argues that: “The current deficit costs the region 2% of GDP every year and is the principal reason why trade among African countries is so negligible.” This shall translate to poor trade across the region.
I believe with servant leadership, Africa remains the continent to watch. Sub-Saharan Africa is the second-fastest growing region in the world after Asia. The IMF estimates a growth rate of more than 5% this year compared to a global GDP growth of less than 3%. Africa’s fastest-growing economies of Sierra Leone, Niger, Nigeria, Angola, Rwanda, Ghana, Ethiopia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Zambia and Mozambique show how different sectors are driving growth across the continent. As quoted in the Forbes Magazine.
Let’s proliferate and share ideas of concern to our Africa. We, the sons and daughters of Africa had enough share of our destitute. The time has come for Africa to forge her way forward and put into the dustbin all the chaff. We want the Africa where all have a share of what is generated.