Africa is the world’s future


The name Africa has had more pains, sweat and tears than joys associated with it. Stories that break into different media houses about Africa all range from malnutrition to child soldiers, murders and rapes, wars, famines and perennial hunger. Africa has been more of an eyesore and laughing stock of the world. Being born an African in Africa has been more of an inborn life sentence into the prison of the bondage of poverty, the leg irons of hopelessness, wars and famines, a crucifixion on the cross of malnutrition, tribal infightings and whatever any worst negative befitting called inhuman that could befit describing Africa and an African in Africa. The revered Economist magazine once labelled Africa on its cover ‘the hopeless continent’.

But Africa is shaking itself off from the skeletons of the dark past and emerging into a force worth reckoning in the world. In a few years from now, Africa will and remain the unimaginable hope for the whole world. Rwanda has shaken off the genocide past and is becoming a brilliant trade epicentre and a learning board on how to move on from disillusionment into a life that brings greater hope than never before.

In a post in the Business in Africa, ‘Investing in Africa’, Tessema Christos analyses that from 2000 to 2016, six of the world’s fastest growing economies belonged to sub- Saharan Africa. To add ice on the cake, Africa’s middle class has tripled in size over the last 30 years numbering 313 million people, greater than 34 percent of the population in the whole world. Africa is now conquering poverty and the future looks brighter than ever before. The Economist magazine eventually had to have its cover page with a heading ‘Africa rising.’


It is exciting to know that Africa is having a fare share of honours in the top 12 growing economies in the world where even China, a heavyweight, is absent. South Sudan, though ravaged by infighting, is poised to perform remarkably; Sierra Leone, Eritrea, Libya and Zambia are also admirable forces in the top 12 of the world’s fastest growing economies.

Even in all emerging economic blocks, Africa is not left out. Our continent has moved from the cocoon of voiceless into a formidable force. The African factor is part of the fabric that is shaping the world’s development agenda. Africa (through South Africa) pushed its weight into the BRICS emerging economies thus standing shoulder to shoulder, toe to toe, with Brazil, Russia, India and China.

And having missed out in the other larger economic bloc called MIST (Mexico, Indonesia, South Korea and Turkey), Africa has had its power recognised again through the emerging MINT (Mexico, Indonesia, Nigeria and Turkey) economic block.


The rising of Africa in the economic circles will continue in the years to come. Food, water and commodity security will in the years to come become the key social and political issues in the world. Fortunately for Africa, it possesses 60 percent of the available cropland in the world as McKinsey Global Institute reports. Further beyond that, as UNCTAD shows, Africa has 12 percent of the global oil reserves, 40 percent of gold and 80 percent of chromium and platinum, regrettably, of course, Africa possess only 1 percent of manufacturing. This is the area which Africa needs to improve.

There is no better time than this for Africa. The world is heading towards bio-fuels and the land t o accommodate such an initiative is in Africa. Land pressure in India and China is so high such that the food for those nations will have to be grown where land is available – Africa. This gives Africa an opportunity to dominate trade in the years to come.

Already, the scramble for land in Africa has begun. Advanced economies are trying to secure land in a bid not to be caught off guard in commodities security. China is taking a lead acquiring 7 million acres of land in DRC to produce bio fuel, investing US$800 million in Mozambique to quintuple rice production, securing 741 acres of land in Tanzania for rice and has requested to have 4.9 million acres of land in Zambia for bio fuels. Other countries are not just idle. German firms have land in Ethiopia, over 32,000 acres to produce bio fuels, India corporations have invested US$4 billion in Ethiopia to produce flowers and food stuffs and even Swedish businesses have invested in Mozambique, acquiring 250,000 acres of land to produce bio fuels. The world’s future is now in the hands of Africa and offers the continent an opportunity to grow as never comprehended before.

But as all these prospects are within the touching distance of Africa. Africa needs to be well prepared to benefit from the boom. Energy remains a problem in Africa and no wonder Africa has only 1 percent of the manufacturing capacity in the world. In Nigeria, about 170 million people share about the same amount of power that is used by about 1.5 million people in the United Kingdon. Africa has to develop its power infrastructure, Africa has to utilise its irrigation channels, Africa has to grow the SMEs sector to be in a position to become great exporters.

And back to my country, it is imperative that Malawi tracks these future developments and compete accordingly with other nations.

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