Africa’s economic pickup challenges

2017 may prove better for sub-Sahara Africa's economies, if only marginally, due to recovering commodity prices and a gradual pick up in the global economy.

The continent has been surviving for years civil wars, political instability, diseases and dictatorships which held its development for all aspects back.

Africa is the most opportunity continent in the world having untapped resources, unpolluted/clean environment and strategic location in terms of geo-politics. Nowadays, it seems that world economy leading countries are contending to show Africa their readiness of bilateral fairness both politics and economic ties which proves how Africa captivates the world imagination because of its historical enrichment as the birthplace of mankind, it is the place where colonial and slavery history dominated and assigned a role as laggard in world affairs.

Today, Africa is the last frontier with limitless of opportunities which makes Africa very competitive epicenter of global economy including some African countries searching and putting their legs on the right way of economic pickup.

Africa has a profitable market which is more imperative because the western markets are battered by the economic and financial crisis the magnitude of which just slightly fell short of the Great Depression.

Fifteen years before, if you look back how some Magazines used to write something about Africa, you figure out that it was an arrogant prognostication of the destiny.

Let me take an instance The economist of March 11, 2000, with a jarring cover story headlined “The Hopeless Continent”. After a decade, The economist apologized for that and regret. It is changed its earlier words with story “ The Hopeful Continent”.

There are so many programs covered by different Televisions and Magazines on Africa economy like African Voices, Inside Africa and Marketplace Africa from CNN, the American magazine Time always runs a story “Africa rising” and The Financial Times of London also reports on Africa “This is Africa”

All these focusing on the continents increasing profile as a global destination of the market and other economic activities.

How Africa gets progress, it needs to deal with these economic impediments which make the continent economically very less growth.

Africa is a rich continent. Some of those riches – especially oil, gas, and minerals – have driven rapid economic growth over the past decade.

To sustain growth that improves the lives of all Africans, the continent needs an economic transformation that taps into Africa’s other riches: its fertile land, its extensive fisheries and forests, and the energy and ingenuity of its people.

Thus, what kind of transformation Africa is needed to occur and how?

To achieve such a transformation, Africa will need to overcome three major obstacles: a lack of access to formal financial services, the weakness of the continent’s infrastructure and the lack of funds for public investment. The Africa Progress Report 2014 describes how African governments and their international partners can cooperate to remove those obstacles – and enable all Africans to benefit from their continent’s extraordinary wealth.

The most expensive economic infrastructure which makes FDI difficult is too electrifying Africa cheaply but Africa is rich the natural electricity alternative which is available and less expensive than the electricity that is renewable energy.

Renewable energy is at the forefront which Africa can attract more investors and entrepreneurs, which would bring about the availability of economic growth. These natural gifts registered some of the most remarkable advances in solar, geothermal and wind power.

Africa also has to prepare a well and detailed trade policy which keeps in touch and can represent all the different economic interest of the continent how they face the world economic actors like China, USA, EU, and Russia.

Since the trade magnitude between the Africa and super economic powers is larger day after day, Africa should establish one African Policy Trade. Africa has not answer, the loser or the gainer, Example: Africa and China Trade.

Africa has to change something its colonial institutions based on extractions of natural resources and being exported like what happens now some countries in West Africa in their Coca plantations and compose real African institutions based on the domestic requirement of the people and principally going against poverty prevalence.

Finally, Africa has to intensify its intra-trade relations among the continent which really has been handicapped by the external relations with the motive of fewer customs tax because this encourages the exporting primary products countries in Africa to divert their trade to out of the continent. So, it is necessary to improve and reform the intra-trade and inter-trade and change something from the trade barriers.

As Africans, if we success these factors to be tackled out, it means we put the endowment of our land outside and get rid of the poverty in the mind of our people.

Mohamed Ibrahim Saleban

Author: Mohamed Ibrahim Saleban

Title: Lecturer at Marodi-jeh International University


The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Horndiplomat editorial policy.

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