AFRICANGLOBE – Don’t believe what the naysayers are saying. Africa is on the verge of take off. It is true that some situations in Africa are desperate. There is the all too recent coup in Burkina Faso. There are still instabilities in Southern Sudan, as well as in the Central African Republic.
The coup in Mali that happened two years ago is still fresh in our minds. However, there have been peaceful elections in at least seven countries in the last year.
Besides, six of the 10 fastest growing economies in the world are in Africa. A naysayer may proclaim that such growth comes from a low base, but the fact is that the growth, however small, is lifting a small but significant number of people from poverty.
The media space in Africa is opening up, and with it, increased freedoms to express divergent opinions. It is my hope that the Egyptian government will do all it can to free the jailed Al-Jazeera journalists, and enhance the media freedoms in Africa.
Kenya provides a perfect case study of how increased freedoms of the media can lead to both political and economic opening up of a country. At the turn of the century, there were just a handful of FM and TV stations, but just a few years into the millennium, several media houses sprouted.
On the education front, there will be at least three million college graduates churned out of African universities and colleges every year.
This number compares favourably with the numbers churned out by Indian and Chinese Universities. The pursuit of quality that can match the highest standards must begin in earnest. What’s more, there should be more training in the sciences and engineering, which will ensure that Africa is on a path to quick industrialisation.
When you consider the fact that food will be the new gold in this century, and the fact that two thirds of the arable land in the world is in Africa, then you get a sense that Africa holds the key to global prosperity.
This is why African optimists must never get tired of singing the African rising orchestra, as Africa inevitably scales up its efforts to claim the 21st century.
By: Collins Mabinda